A trooper that pulled a vehicle over on Nov. 1 in Texas for a minor traffic violation discovered 272 pounds of marijuana, according to media reports. The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that the 33-year-old Bishop man that was behind the wheel of the vehicle and his 35-year-old female passenger were both taken into custody on drug possession charges and transported to a detention facility in Hidalgo County following the discovery.
The state trooper that made the stop says that he pulled over the white Chevrolet pickup truck at approximately 5:46 p.m. because its window tint appeared to be darker than the 25 percent allowed under state law. The trooper says that he asked for permission to search the vehicle after the driver showed signs of nervousness and uncertainty when questioned. The request to conduct a vehicle search was denied, but a subsequent records check is said to have revealed that the man was driving with a suspended driver’s license.
Reports indicate that the trooper conducted an inventory of the man’s possessions and vehicle after taking him into custody on the motor vehicle charge. The marijuana was allegedly discovered in 27 plastic-wrapped packages weighing approximately 10 pounds each located in a toolbox fitted to the vehicle’s bed. Police say that the passenger of the vehicle was taken into custody on drug charges following the alleged discovery of the marijuana.
Police officers are generally required to obtain warrants before conducting searches, but there are exceptions to this rule when they have probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime will be discovered, or they have taken an individual into custody on an unrelated matter. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may explain the limits of Fourth Amendment protections to their clients, and they could encourage them to ensure that their vehicles and driver’s licenses are able to withstand law enforcement scrutiny.
Source: CBS Valley Central News, State trooper finds 272 pounds of marijuana inside truck’s tool box during traffic stop, Staff report, Nov. 3, 2017