POST - A traffic stop last month resulted in three arrests and the confiscation of more than $350,000 in drugs and cash in Garza County, sheriff’s officials announced Thursday.
The driver, Rochelle Monique Garcia, and the front seat passenger, Kelsey Michelle Perez. —both 22 years old — were arrested on felony charges of possession and delivery of a controlled substance.
Backseat passenger, 29-year-old Jorge Irizarry from San Antonio, was arrested on charges of possession and intent to deliver a controlled substance and money laundering.
Garza County Deputy J. Eakin said a search of their vehicle yielded more than 24 pounds of marijuana, more than half a pound of Tetrahycrocannabinol (THC) products, and $5,000 in a sealed bag.
“This is the largest drug bust in Garza County since Terry Morgan was elected sheriff in 2013,” according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
Eakin said the search came after he stopped the white 2014 Chevrolet Malibu Jan. 25 for allegedly speeding in the 700 block of South Broadway, U.S. 84.
During the stop Eakin stated he detected the smell of marijuana, which prompted a search of the vehicle.
After explaining the situation and reportedly asking Garcia for permission to search the car, the release states the women stepped out of the vehicle and Irizarry claimed to have a “joint” inside his left sock.
Eakin said he also found a white tube containing a pre-rolled marijuana cigarette in Perez’s handbag, and an “excessive amount of luggage” in the car, the release states.
While Garcia and Perez’s identification showed they reside in California, the release states, the two claimed Austin as their home.
Based on the findings, the release states all three were arrested, and the vehicle was taken to the department where officials conducted an extensive search.
“The money,” the release states, “is believed to be used as proceeds for criminal activity.”
Deputies on scene were told the trio had been to California, stopped in Albuquerque and were headed to Austin.
Garcia and Perez remained in the Garza County jail on a $70,000 bond while Irizarry was released on an $85,000 bond.