Police in Texas may have found more than just frozen desserts after they inspected an ice cream truck. Sheriff's deputies took two men into custody on drug charges after they found two plastic bowls containing something leafy and green in the back of their ice cream truck. Officers believed the substance to be marijuana. According to the El Paso Times, the police stopped the truck when they noticed it had a cracked windshield and an expired registration sticker. A 19-year-old man and a 29-year-old man inside the vehicle were charged with drug possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. The younger man allegedly tried to escape and led officers on a brief chase before being caught. Authorities charged him with detention and evading arrest.
On March 8, the Texas Department of Public Safety tailed a single-engine Cessna 172 as it traveled across the state. Police believed that the occupants of the plane loaded it with illegal narcotics at an airport in McAllen. When the plane stopped to refuel at the Brenham Airport in Washington County, police moved to inspect the plane. They allegedly found a handgun, 3 ounces of cocaine and 65 pounds of marijuana. Police estimate the value of the substance believed to be marijuana at approximately $30,000. Both men now face drug distribution charges for the alleged possession of between 50 and 2,000 lbs of marijuana. Each man is also charged with the unlawful carrying of a weapon.
A 20-year-old Texas woman was taken into custody on March 6 after a sheriff's deputy stopped her for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, the officer allegedly perceived the odor of marijuana and glimpsed several stacks of money on the vehicle's passenger seat. The driver admitted she was on her way to Virginia and was smoking marijuana while traveling. A subsequent search revealed nearly $2,000 in cash in the car along with drug paraphernalia, a gas mask and about 47 grams of marijuana divided into individual baggies. The suspect faces felony drug charges, including possession with intent to sell marijuana, maintaining a vehicle and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was held by Rowan County pending the payment of a $10,000 bond.
On March 2, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper found 2,735 grams of methamphetamine after conducting what was initially a routine traffic stop. The street value of the drugs would be approximately $229,100. The driver of the vehicle is now facing charges for drug possession. The trooper pulled over a 26-year-old man driving a 2002 Ford Escort in the early afternoon. The man was traveling on a road just east of Conway in Carson County when police pulled him over for an alleged traffic violation. The trooper reportedly searched the vehicle and uncovered the methamphetamine concealed inside. The drugs were hidden in the front passenger door panel of the car, according to police, and were thought to be in transit from Phoenix, Arizona to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
On Feb. 27, Palestine law enforcement answered a call about illegal dumping but took a man into custody for drug crimes instead. Officials will release no further information about the individual, however, until the arraignment. The subject was arrested for several offenses, including drug manufacture of a Penalty Group 1 substance, a first degree felony; manufacture of a controlled substance, a state jail felony; and possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor. When police responded to the call at the home on Feb. 27, they could allegedly smell marijuana and decided to request a search warrant. As the officers combed through the residence, they located substances believed to be crack-cocaine, marijuana and a variety of pills. The DPS crime lab will test the substances to determine their composition.
Police took four people, including a 51-year-old female and her 29-year-old son, into custody for drug charges in Punkin, located in Montgomery County, on Feb. 27. They were charged with selling methamphetamines from a travel trailer following police surveillance and a tip.After law enforcement observed the trailer based on a tip received regarding drug activity at the location, they noticed traffic that was allegedly consistent with such activity. A lieutenant followed a truck with four people inside after it stopped at the trailer for a short time. He observed two females inside who were not wearing seatbelts. One of the women sat on a man's lap and seemed to try to hide something in the truck.
The U.S. has increased drug enforcement tactics in both Mexico and the U.S., and the efforts have paid off. The Loredo customs port, the busiest in the nation, saw a marked rise in methamphetamines seizures in 2012. U.S. demand has driven the flow of drugs as the cartels continue their drug trafficking activities on both sides of the border. Customs and Border Protection agents throughout the area confiscated about 2,200 pounds of meth during fiscal 2012, up more than 100 percent from fiscal 2011. Fiscal 2011 saw more than a one-third increase from 2010. In contrast, CBP personnel in El Paso confiscated about 87 pounds of meth during fiscal 2012. Throughout Texas, CBP officers seized about 1.7 million pounds of drugs during fiscal 2012, which was more than the total seized in all of Arizona, New Mexico and California combined.
A Houston medical professional accused of running unlicensed pain management clinics is requesting the return of more than $92,000 in money that was seized from his bank account. The doctor does not yet face prescription drug charges even though federal agents investigated four of his clinics. The man insists that he had never committed a crime and wants his money back. In a court document, he called the seizure fraudulent and denies that he obtained the funds illegally. Officials investigated his sales of prescription drugs, which included muscle relaxers, an anti-anxiety drug and painkillers. The bank produced records of the doctor's accounts, and clinic records indicated numerous cash payments for frequent amounts of $100 or $120. Officials estimate the doctor had in excess of 6,000 payments and claim he earned about $720,000 from operating the pain management clinics across the city.
A 68-year-old Austin man and a 45-year-old Lockhart resident were found guilty following their recent trial for being members of a heroin distribution ring. Both men will be sentenced on the charges at a hearing in May. Members of the ring were accused of processing the heroin at an Austin restaurant owned by the family of the 68-year-old defendant. The men were only two of 15 defendants arrested on suspicion of being members of the Houston-based ring. The arrests were part of an investigation that lasted for an entire year, and one of the suspects died prior to the trial. The remaining 12 suspects pleaded guilty to the drug distribution charges.