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Calhoun deputies find almost 90 pounds of marijuana in SUV after traffic stop

By by Dianna Wray - DWRAY@VICAD.COM
Sept. 29, 2011 at 4:29 a.m.

The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office seized 89.6 pounds of marijuana on Saturday morning. The occupants of the car fled the scene after the sport utility vehicle crashed on Whatley Road.

Calhoun County Sheriff's Office deputies recovered almost 90 pounds of marijuana in a car after a chase on Saturday.

About 9:30 a.m. Saturday, a deputy attempted to pull over a gray 1998 Jeep sport utility vehicle on suspicion of speeding through the river bottom on state Highway 35. Instead of pulling over, the driver sped up, and turned left onto state Highway 185. The driver later made a sharp turn onto Whatley Road and then wrecked the vehicle. The vehicle hit a fence and then went into a deep ditch, losing a bumper and blowing out a tire, Sheriff B.B. Browning said.

The occupants of the vehicle bailed out, scattering into a nearby wooded area. Sheriff's deputies searched the area, using a local airplane to look for the occupants. A helicopter from the Department of Public Safety surveyed the area.

One of the occupants was carrying a backpack believed to contain marijuana, Browning said, so authorities were looking for that person.

The Port Lavaca Police Department, the Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens, the Department of Public Safety and a constable aided in the search.

Deputies found 89.6 pounds of marijuana in the back of the SUV, Browning said.

Daniel Penaloza-Avila, 26, and Jose Trujillo-Talavera, 23, both of Michoacan, Mexico, were arrested and charged with possession of more than 50 pounds marijuana but less than 200 pounds, a felony. They were also charged with evading arrest or detention.

They remain in the Calhoun County Jail. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has placed a hold on them.



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