4 arrested in Port Lavaca convenience store bust as investigation continues
Jan. 11, 2012 at 10:02 a.m.
Updated Jan. 10, 2012 at 7:11 p.m.
More arrests as the drug bust investigation at three Port Lavaca convenience stores continues. There have been four arrests since the raid that started at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.
The raid started at about 8:30 a.m. when law enforcement officers arrived at the Times Market, 312 Travis St., with search and arrest warrants.
The bust continued at the Times Market, 630 N. Virginia St., and the Get and Go, 1717 Half League St.
About 200 vials of bath salts and 200 shots of Kush, synthetic marijuana that sells for $40 a shot, along with more than $40,000 in cash were confiscated.
The owners of the Times Markets, Diem Ngoc Luong-Chau, 36, and her husband, Dina Than Chau, 46, were arrested and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Diem Ngoc Luong-Chau was also charged with manual delivery of a controlled substance after she sold to undercover officers, Calhoun County Sheriff B.B. Browning said.
A clerk at the Get and Go, Arman Muradali-Manasiya, 19, was also arrested on Tuesday morning and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Another arrest occurred on Tuesday afternoon, and more arrests may follow as the investigation continues, Browning said.
A clerk at the Times Market on Virginia St., Maria Del Refugio Lucio-Najera, 22, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
The charges for possession of bath salts and Kush with intent to distribute, depending on the amount of drugs, can go up to a first degree felony.
The punishment for conviction ranges from five to 99 years or life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, Heard said.
The charges are more serious for distributing drugs near a school or park because these are known as “drug free zones,” Heard noted.
The Get and Go is across the street from Tilley Park and down the street from Calhoun High School and Travis Middle School. The Times Market on Virginia Street is in front of HJM Elementary School, Browning said.
The sheriff’s deputies had worked with the Port Lavaca Police Department on the case for nearly a year, Browning said. The investigation involved undercover work, as well as assistance by Constable Billy Billings, representatives from the Attorney General’s office and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.