Police raid uncovers drugs, money, guns (Video)
Feb. 23, 2012 at 10 p.m.
Updated Feb. 23, 2012 at 8:24 p.m.
Eight people were arrested on felony charges Thursday morning, following a Victoria Police Department raid that revealed assault weapons, drugs, money and a bullet-proof jacket.
"We are glad to announce some pretty serious arrests and recovery of some substantial drugs and narcotics from the streets of Victoria," said Victoria Police Chief JJ Craig.
The Victoria County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted in the raid.
An ongoing investigation by the Victoria Police Department Special Crimes Unit led to warrants served at two homes, one in the 900 block of Fillmore Street and one in the 100 block of Shannon Street about 6 a.m. Thursday.
Of the 10 Victoria residents initially detained, Richard Milton Postert, 34; Timothy Dale Barker, 32; and Brandy Barker, 36, were arrested in the home on Shannon Street. Gilbert Perez Jr., 55; Esmeralda Perez, 54; Gilbert Perez III, 32; Mia Gatica, 29; and Luis Ramon Perez, 30, were arrested in the home on Fillmore Street.
Sheriff's deputies aided the VPD Special Crimes Unit and SWAT team in the raid on Shannon Street confiscating drugs, a vehicle and a handgun. Simultaneously on Fillmore Street, police officers served a second warrant seizing drugs, money and guns.
Craig said the guns and drugs "present a problem not only for law enforcement, but also for the public."
The home in the 900 block of Fillmore Street was condemned for code violations. Several pit bulls also were removed from the home.
Nearby residents may have heard flash bangs used by snipers as distraction devices during the raid.
Postert and both Barkers face felony charges for possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone, engaging in organized criminal activity and abandonment or endangering a child.
The four Perezes and Gatica face various felony charges, including 11 counts of unlawful possession of firearms, engaging in organized crime, possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone and manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance.
In the past two weeks, the Victoria Police Department has seized more than $95,000 within the city limits in addition to aiding state troopers in seizing $1.68 million, said Deputy Chief Roy Boyd.
Police officials said this is the largest raid in several years, and Craig said its success demonstrates the commitment of the officers working drug-related offenses.
Officials acknowledged the cooperation between agencies during the investigation.
"It doesn't matter what uniform you wear, we're all on the same team," said Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor. "It is one thing assisting the police department in a house call, but to attain this level of success - the police deserve great accolades for what they did."
The stakes are high when dealing with guns in addition to drugs, O'Connor said. Organized crime has been decreasing in the Victoria area over the past eight years because federal state and local agencies have focused on the problem, he said.
That focus is because of the geographic location of Victoria. People want to centralize their criminal operations in Victoria because the city is on one of the main arteries for drug trafficking, O'Connor said.
"We hope this will serve as a notice to criminals," O'Connor said. "If you come to the Victoria area, you will have to reckon with law enforcement."