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Motorist assists with drug arrest

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, February 17, 2018
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In the Bag

IN THE BAG – A Wise County sheriff’s deputy found 69 pounds of packaged marijuana in a duffel bag during a traffic stop last weekend. Submitted photo

A passing motorist helped an officer catch a man believed to have been transporting marijuana from Mexico to Dallas Sunday.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said one of his deputies stopped a vehicle headed south of U.S. 81/287 near Farm Road 1810 in Decatur during the early afternoon hours on Sunday.

Garcia

The officer noticed the driver, Francisco Ramon Garcia of Tucson, Ariz., acting “exceedingly nervous,” Akin said, and received verbal consent to search the vehicle. The officer found a duffel bag with 69 bricks of marijuana inside.

“The deputy went back to where (Garcia) was standing and he took off running toward the Ashcraft farm, and he climbed over some of the pipe fence there into the Ashcraft property,” Akin said.

While this was happening, a passing motorist must have seen what was going on and came to help.

“The motorist saw the guy fleeing from the deputy, and the motorist pulled into that parking lot and sort of blocked the escape of the fleeing person,” Akin said. “So when Garcia saw the car he just threw up his hands and gave up. The motorist backed out, and we never really got a chance to identify who it was who came to our assistance.”

Once Garcia was taken into custody, 1.3 grams of cocaine was found in his pocket. A loaded 9 mm handgun was found in the vehicle’s console.

He was charged with possession of marijuana 50-2,000 pounds, possession of a controlled substance 1-4 grams, unlawful carrying of a weapon and evading arrest or detention. He remained in the Wise County Jail Friday with total bond set at $40,000.

While deputies have been finding large amounts of marijuana in traffic stops lately, Akin said this stop was unique.

“You can tell it was packaged differently. It was in a press, and each one of those packages was right around 1 pound, but it indicates to us that the marijuana came from Mexico. And it was headed from Arizona to Dallas, which would put it in the area where it would likely cross the border (in Arizona),” he said.

The sheriff said he has heard from other law enforcement agencies, particularly the Texas Department of Public Safety, that officers are seeing more drugs from Mexico coming from western states headed back to the east and south.

“I’m attributing that to all the pressure that’s being put on the southern border by DPS and border patrol, at least the southern border of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley,” Akin said.

He also wanted to thank the unknown person who assisted with catching Garcia.

“We truly appreciate the assistance of the general public,” Akin said. “We can do so much more with their assistance and their involvement.”

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