Merchandise seized from Port Lavaca Smoke Shop

Products seized by Port Lavaca police from the Faded Smoke Shop.

A Port Lavaca smoke shop owner arrested on drug charges retained legal counsel Thursday after cannabis products sold in the shop were seized by police.

Faded Smoke Shop owner Alexandra Degollado, 30, said the cannabis products she was selling are legal and that she will be represented by both a local attorney and an Austin-based attorney.

Jane Lane, of Port Lavaca, and Lisa Pittman, of Austin, will represent Degollado. Pittman is an attorney specializing in cannabis law at the Coats Rose law firm. She also was appointed to the Texas Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Advisory Council.

“We are going to be defending her by educating the prosecutor that she sourced her products from legal distributors and she relied on legal certificate of analysis demonstrating that the products she was selling were legal under the law,” Pittman said.

Lane could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Degollado turned herself into the Calhoun County Jail Thursday morning and was released on a $30,000 bond, said Police Chief Colin Rangnow.

On Tuesday, police searched Faded Smoke Shop, 1504 W. Austin St., and seized more than 1,000 grams of suspected THC products, more than 14 ounces of suspected marijuana flower and more than $4,000 in “suspected drug-related money,” according to a news release from the Port Lavaca Police Department.

Daniel Herrera, 23, who is an employee of the shop, was arrested by officers and charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance between 4 and 400 grams. He was taken to the Calhoun County Adult Detention Center, where he remained in custody Thursday, according to the jail’s online portal.

An official from the department’s records division declined to provide the search warrant used by police Thursday, citing the ongoing investigation. Rangnow said it was obtained after authorities determined products purchased by the department contained an illegal amount of THC.

The products seized on Tuesday will be sent to the same Department of Safety lab in Corpus Christi that tested the products obtained prior to the arrests, Rangnow said.

“Other cases might take priority there, but I expect we will get the results back in a month or more,” he said.

Rangnow said he understands the increased popularity of legal cannabis products, but he reaffirmed the current illegal status of marijuana in Texas.

After confirming Degollado turned herself in Thursday morning, Rangnow said no more arrests should be made unless new evidence is discovered.

“I know people have many opinions about this from social media,” he said. “But people have to understand that, right now, it is still illegal. I realize it might be legalized in a few years, but it is still illegal here.”

Degollado and Herrera were charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance between 4 and 400 grams.

Herrera was charged with violation of probation on Thursday after his Texas Department of Criminal Justice parole officer was notified of the controlled substance charge, according to jail officials.

Both the Port Lavaca shop, which Degollado said is closed indefinitely, and the Victoria shop maintain a current license to sell hemp products, according to Texas Department of State Health Services license lookup portal.

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Chase Rogers covers breaking news and public safety for The Victoria Advocate. He graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor's in mass communications and journalism. Chase can be reached at 361-574-1286, or on Twitter.

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Breaking News & Public Safety Reporter

"I am a North Texas native with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and journalism from Texas State University. I am privileged to work with the Advocate staff and contribute to their tireless effort to inform the communities of the Crossroads."

(3) comments

Grace Butler

What's horrifying is that the employee thought they were just working at their job selling a legal item, and now he's in jail, his probation is violated, and he's facing some deep trouble, all for...doing his job. Scary stuff. Makes you wonder why the cops seemed to have it out for this shop.

Glenn Wilson

They probably had it out for this shop because this is good ol' rural, regressive Victoria, TX. It seems likely that the manufacturer's label on the "illegal" product would have the % of THC and other ingredients listed. If what's shown is at or under the legal limit, then nobody working at the store is guilty of anything. They can't reasonably be expected to conduct a chemical analysis of the store's merchandise.

Glenn Wilson

If this incident had happened in a large store, say, Walmart, would everyone working in the store have been arrested?

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