Provided by Garza County Sheriff
A routine traffic stop for speeding resulted in three people arrested for drug possession and deputies confiscating drugs valued over $350,000. This is the largest drug bust in Garza County since Terry Morgan was elected Sheriff in 2013.
Garza County Deputy J. Eakin pulled over a white 2014 Chevrolet Malibu last Wednesday in the 700 Block of South Broadway (U.S. 84) for driving 46mph in a posted 35mph zone. The driver of the car was identified as Rochelle Monique Garcia, 22 from California. Deputy Eakin stated he detected the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The front seat passenger was identified as Kelsey Michelle Perez, 22, also from California. Even though both women had California driver's license, they claimed Austin as their home. Deputy Eakin asked the women to exit the car after explaining to them what he detected and asked permission to search the car. Garcia told Deputy Eakin he could search the car. The back sear passenger Jorge Irizarry, 29, from San Antonio, told Deputy Eakin he had a "joint" inside his left sock.
During the search a white tube was found in Perez's handbag. The tube appeared to be a burnt pre-rolled marijuana cigarette. The deputy also found a excessive amount of luggage in the car and at that time the three individuals were detained and transported to the jail. The vehicle was then transported to the Sally Port at the Sheriff's Department. Deputies conducted an extensive search of the vehicle and luggage and found over 24 pounds of marijuana, over half a pound of Tetrahycrocannabinol (THC) products along with $5,000 in a vacuumed sealed bag. The money is believed to be used as proceeds for criminal activity.
All three individuals were charged with Delivery of Marijuana - greater than five pounds but less than 50 pounds in a Drug Free Zone and delivery of a controlled substance. Irizarry is also being charged with Money Laundering - greater than $1,500 but less than $20,000. He told deputies they had been to California, stopped in Albuquerque and was headed for Austin.