No drugs, but 296 stolen bras found during police sweep
|Photo courtesy of braball.com|
According to charges, multiple plain-clothes officers knocked on Ortiz's motel room door. They explained to the two occupants that they were not under arrest and were not being detained. Ortiz and Malpartida gave the officers permission to search for evidence of drug trafficking, including "drugs, money and guns," according to the complaints.
What the officers allegedly found were shopping bags lined with foil, empty duffel bags and various forged identification cards, including Peruvian passports bearing the couple's pictures but different names. Malpartida had two Puerto Rican driver's licenses, one of which had a different name.
A subsequent search of their van uncovered four large lawn bags filled with adult and children's clothing, all of it with store tags and security devices still intact. Among the items were nearly 300 bras from Victoria's Secret.
"We have a lot of bras here," said John Grant, agent in charge of the Dakota County Drug Task Force. He said it was not immediately clear where the items came from, though some had American Eagle Outfitters tags.Juan Malpartida, 33, and Mercedes Ortiz, 41, both of Elizabeth, N.J. were charged for allegedly stealing $4,000 in clothing from local retailers.