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San Antonio Criminal Defense Blog

Man sentenced in drug trafficking case

A 39-year-old man from Texas was sentenced to life in a federal prison for his role in a drug trafficking operation. Authorities say that he took part in the scheme despite the fact that he was in jail since he was taken into custody in December 2016. He was sentenced for drug possession and distribution charges in August 2017.

The man's apartment had been searched in 2015, and the search led to $22,000 and a pistol being confiscated. That was in addition to drugs and drug paraphernalia. Authorities say that the man admitted to delivering 50 pounds of methamphetamine just days before the apartment was raided. Phone calls made while he was in jail confirmed that he played a role in drug trafficking while he was in custody.

Series of traffic stops lead to marijuana seizures

The Texas Department of Public Safety reported that in one week of traffic stops in Oldham County, it seized more than 269 pounds of marijuana with a value of $1.6 million. One state trooper pulled over a 2017 Nissan Sentra for an unspecified traffic violation on Feb. 6 as the car drove east on Interstate 40 past Vega. During a search of the vehicle, the police said that they found 123 pounds of cannabis hidden inside, carrying a value of approximately $746,000.

Two men inside the car, the driver and the passenger, were then arrested and both were charged with felony possession of marijuana. During the traffic stop, a separate vehicle, a 2014 Infiniti Q50, quickly cut in front of the stopped vehicle. However, it then quickly sped away from the scene. Police later stopped the vehicle elsewhere and arrested and charged the driver with felony marijuana possession.

How drug court can benefit you and your community

If you live in Texas and are facing a drug-related criminal charge, you may have fears about having to spend time behind bars. Depending on the circumstances of your crime and whether you have an existing criminal record, among other considerations, you may have an option available to you as an alternative to serving jail time.

Though not yet available everywhere, drug courts are supervised programs that seek to keep nonviolent drug offenders out of prison by instead having them undergo treatment, drug testing and regular appearances before a judge. Drug courts are also largely effective, due at least in part to the fact that they essentially force compliance, because many offenders are so afraid of the alternative. In addition to helping force you to beat your drug addiction, drug courts:

Grow house found in Texas home

A couple faces felony charges after a drug raid on a house near Dripping Springs. Deputies executed a search warrant in Hays County on Jan. 31 and took a young woman into custody after finding around 150 marijuana plants. Her alleged accomplice was taken into custody on Feb. 5. The two face charges for felony possession as well as manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance.

Deputies were tipped off about the grow house and found what was described as an elaborate operation involving marijuana, methamphetamine and psilocybin mushrooms. The woman has a record from a string of vehicle break-ins in Hays County. Those prior offenses might be used to enhance her sentence if found guilty of the drug charges.

Study looks at the effect of pretrial detention on criminal cases

Texas residents may be aware that the United States has a high level of incarceration. However, they may not know that more than 20 percent of those behind bars have not been found guilty of committing a crime. While some of these prisoners are incarcerated while they await trial because they pose a threat to the community at large or are considered a flight risk, the overwhelming majority of them are in prison or jail simply because they could not afford to post bail.

The impact that pretrial detention has on the results of criminal cases was studied recently by a team of researchers from Stanford, Harvard and Princeton universities. They found that individuals who are unable to afford bail are far more likely to be convicted at trial or enter into negotiated plea agreements than defendants who are granted pretrial release. According to the study, typical defendants subjected to pretrial incarceration earned about $7,000 during the year prior to their arrest. The researchers based their findings on a study of tax and administrative court data.

Life sentence for woman in drug case

A 46-year-old woman was sentenced to life in prison on drug-related charges on Jan. 18. The woman pleaded guilty to several offenses including possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. The plea agreement included an agreement from federal and local law enforcement in other jurisdictions to not pursue drug charges from 2016 and 2017. The woman has already spent time in prison in Texas and Louisiana on drug-related charges in 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2012.

On June 23, 2017, law enforcement stopped a vehicle in Conroe in which the woman was a passenger. A narcotics K-9 alerted officers to the presence of 420 grams of methamphetamine on the woman's side of the car. Officers also recovered $18,000.

Texas man arrested for parole violation, meth possession

On Jan. 8, a 51-year-old Texas man was arrested after a traffic stop near Chandler. He had reportedly violated the terms of his parole and was also in possession of illegal drugs.

According to authorities, the defendant was pulled over for a traffic violation on FM 315. During the stop, three narcotics deputies discovered that he was a convicted felon with an outstanding warrant for the parole violation. After he was taken into custody, the deputies searched his vehicle and allegedly found methamphetamine.

Man facing drug charges after police find promethazine

On Jan. 4, it was reported that a Texas man was taken into custody in November 2017 after authorities found more than 30 bottles of promethazine and other drugs in his vehicle. The man, age 25, was originally pulled over after authorities observed him driving in an erratic manner on Lille Road in Arlington.

When authorities searched the man's vehicle, they reportedly seized enough promethazine to make more than 4,700 bottles of cough syrup. Promethazine is used as a major ingredient in "lean" or "purple drank", a concoction that also includes soft drinks and hard candies. The drink can be highly addictive as it contains codeine. When combined with alcohol or other drugs, the drink can be deadly.

By the numbers, the effects of a high BAC

In Texas, as in every other state, it is illegal to drive when the blood alcohol concentration level is 0.08 percent or higher. However, most people probably do not know how little alcohol it takes to reach that level.

Perhaps someone is accustomed to driving after having a few beers or a couple of mixed drinks, but there is such a thing as the law of averages. After considering the statistics, people may want to rethink the idea of drinking and driving.

Crime rates likely went down in 2017

Texas residents may be interested to hear that the murder rate in Houston was estimated to be down by 20.5 percent in 2017. This is part of a downward trend for both crime overall and violent crimes in particular. Violent crimes are forecast to drop by .6 percent according to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. The overall crime rate is expected to drop by 1.7 percent in 2017.

In addition to a drop in the murder rate in Houston, the murder rate was down by 25.6 percent in Detroit and 19.1 percent in New York. However, the rate was expected to be higher in Charlotte, where murders doubled in the first half of 2017 compared to the first half of 2016. A decrease in the violent crime rate is largely attributed to crime rates stabilizing or going down in places such as Chicago and Washington, D.C.