MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The California Highway Patrol is touting its largest drug bust in Merced County history.
At 1 p.m. Friday, a CHP K-9 officer pulled over a 2014 Kia Soul for a traffic violation on Interstate 5 near the Santa Nella Scales.
During the stop, the officer noted several suspicious factors and called in his K-9 partner, Luna.
The dog gave a positive alert on the smell of narcotics and as officers prepared to search the Kia, the driver ran into a nearby orchard.
The Merced County Sheriff's Department and CHP Central Division Air Operations Unit joined in a search for the driver but he was not found.
However, he was identified by evidence retrieved from within the Kia.
735,000 fentanyl-laced pills, 133 pounds of methamphetamine and 37 pounds of cocaine were seized from the vehicle, an estimated $10.5 million worth of drugs.
The Merced Area Gang Narcotics Enforcement Team (MAGNET) was requested and responded to assist with the investigation.
MAGNET agents took custody of the narcotics and the passenger, 23-year-old Luis Felipe Ponce Rosales of Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Ponce Rosales was booked into jail on multiple felony drug charges.
The search for the driver is still underway and his identity was not released.