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DPS troopers money, drugs in four stops

By Victoria Advocate
Feb. 10, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 9, 2012 at 8:10 p.m.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol in Victoria seized $514,322 in three traffic stops and crystal methamphetamine, with a street valued of $250,000, in a fourth traffic stop in less than 24 hours.

The Texas Department of Public Safety troopers in Victoria seized $514,322 in three traffic stops and crystal methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of $250,000 in a fourth traffic stop in less than 24 hours.

Troopers stopped a Chrysler Sebring on suspicion of traffic violations on U.S. Highway 59 south of Victoria about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, said Trooper Gerald Bryant.

While interviewing, the driver the trooper noticed several indicators of possible criminal activity and received permission to search the vehicle. The trooper located a fake car battery containing four bundles containing seven pounds of methamphetamine.

The driver, Juan Salinas, 34, of Omega, Ga. was arrested on felony possession of a controlled substance charge and placed at the Victoria County Jail.

About four and a half hours later, troopers stopped a southbound 2009 Cadillac CTS on suspicion of a traffic violation on U.S. Highway 59 at Anthony Road, Bryant said.

The trooper noticed several indicators of possible criminal activity while interviewing the driver and gained permission to search the vehicle. The trooper found a false compartment in the vehicle frame rail containing one bundle containing $19,051, Bryant said.

The driver, Palmira Marroquin, 53, of Falcon Heights, was arrested on a felony money laundering charge and placed at Victoria County Jail.

Troopers stopped a Dodge Ram pickup on suspicion of two traffic violations on U.S. Highway 59 near Fox Road about 8:15 a.m. Thursday. After interviewing the driver and searching the vehicle with the owner's consent, the trooper located a fake compartment in the floorboard containing 16 bundles containing $447,981, Bryant said. The driver Armando Juarez, 27, of Houston, also had a .40 caliber Springfield semi-automatic pistol in his possession. Juarez was arrested on aggravated felony money laundering charge. His passenger Mayra Alejandra Rodriguez, 24, of Houston, was arrested on felony money laundering charge. Both are being held at the Victoria County Jail.

Troopers stopped a Ford pickup on suspicion of traffic violations on U.S. Highway 59 near Fox Road about 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Upon interviewing the driver the trooper noticed several indicators of possible criminal activity and gained permission to search the vehicle, Bryant said.

The trooper located a fake compartment in the manifold intake of the engine containing eight bundles containing $ 47,290 in cash.

The driver, Alfredo Torres, 49, of Gastonia, N.C., was traveling to San Luis Potosi and was arrested on a felony money laundering charge and placed in the Victoria County Jail.

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