Charges filed after a large cache of meth is found in east Kansas City

The discovery of a hidden cache of packaged methamphetamine — valued at $1 million to $2 million, authorities said — led to drug trafficking charges being filed Wednesday in Jackson County.

Members of the Jackson County Drug Task Force found the packages hidden in a vehicle while serving a search warrant Tuesday at a Kansas City residence in the 4400 block of Sterling Avenue. The task force went to the residence following a three-month investigation.

Prosecutors charged Valdemar Rivera-Madrigal, 20, of Kansas City and Cesar Omar Rivera-Valencia, 23, of Montebello, Calif.

A police dog detected that drugs could be hidden inside a silver 2011 Nissan Armada parked in an attached garage.

Detectives found fresh tool marks on the screws holding the two front fenders. They later removed several small panels inside the vehicle and noticed part of a suspicious package inside. They towed the vehicle to a nearby police station. Detectives disassembled the front part of the vehicle and recovered 20 packages wrapped in green plastic.

“This is a big deal,” said Dan Cummings, the officer in charge of the task force. “You’ve got 22 pounds of meth that didn’t get sold in Jackson County, and that’s the bottom line.”