April 7, 2021 1:30 p.m.
A California man was captured Tuesday, after a detective jumped into the South Umpqua River to retrieve a bag of methamphetamine.
Lieutenant Rick McArthur of the Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team said detectives arrested 60-year old Robert Muniain of Oakdale, for crimes related to large quantities of the drug.
McArthur said DINT detectives were following the man as part of an ongoing drug investigation. With the help of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, a traffic stop was attempted on Muniain as he was northbound on Interstate Five near Myrtle Creek. McArthur said Muniain slowed down but initially refused to stop, exiting the freeway and heading towards the town. As he was crossing the bridge over the river, the suspect allegedly threw a bag out the vehicle window into the river below. After tossing the bag, Muniain complied and stopped his vehicle.
A DINT detective, fearing the man had thrown drugs into the river, scrambled down the river bank and spotted the bag heading down the river. The detective dove into the water and swam to the bag, which was still floating when he got to it. He retrieved the bag and continued swimming to the opposite side of the river.
McArthur said the bag contained approximately 472 grams of meth, which is more than 1 pound. McArthur said that is a very large amount and is not for personal use. He said a typical addict would use approximately 1 gram per day, on average. Depending on how it is sold, McArthur said that pound of meth could have netted $6,400. McArthur told News Radio 1240 KQEN that getting wet will not hurt the meth at all, but it will dissolve if left in water. In this case it was sealed in a zip lock bag, so didn’t even get wet.
Muniain was charged with unlawful possession and delivery of meth. Bail was set at $150,000.
McArthur said the investigation is continuing and additional charges are pending.