A man has been indicted on drug possession and money laundering charges more than a year after a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper allegedly discovered cash and drug paraphernalia in his vehicle during a routine traffic stop. The 38-year-old Odessa resident is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 4 according to court documents released on Sept. 23. The case against him is based on evidence gathered on Sept. 17, 2019. Both of the charges the man faces are felonies that carry custodial sentences of up to two years.
Pulled over for texting while driving
The traffic stop that led to the man’s indictment took place on U.S. Route 87 in Howard County at approximately 10:34 a.m. The DPS trooper involved said that he signaled the man to pull over after observing him using an electronic device while behind the wheel. When he approached the car, the trooper claims to have noticed several signs of criminal behavior. The car was searched after the man allegedly admitted that it contained a pipe that he used to smoke methamphetamine.
Cash and gun discovered
The ensuing search is said to have led to the discovery of $10,000 in U.S. currency, an unspecified quantity of a substance believed to be methamphetamine and a handgun. When he was interviewed by detectives, the man allegedly admitted that he planned to use the money to buy drugs. The man was then charged with drug possession, money laundering and carrying a concealed weapon. He was released from the Tom Green County Jail the following day after posting a $15,000 bond.
Remaining silent and asking for a lawyer
Police officers often obtain the probable cause they need to conduct warrantless searches by asking suspects carefully worded questions. Experienced criminal defense attorneys could advise motorists in these situations to politely inform the police that they do not consent to any searches and plan to avail themselves of their constitutional right to remain silent. Attorneys could also urge suspects who have been detained by law enforcement for questioning to seek legal counsel before making any statements.