After receiving a tip of possible illegal activity at the southern border of Duval County, officials from the Central South Texas Criminal Investigations Unit and the Duval County Sheriff's Office pulled over a vehicle carrying more than 318 pounds of marijuana on Thursday, June 28.
When Agent Randy Trigo conducted a traffic stop of a Suburban traveling on FM 1329, following closely behind a Trailblazer. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop and began driving erratically, swerving in and out of the southbound lane of the road. The vehicle eventually stopped, and eight individuals got out of the vehicle and made their way into the brush.
Trigo inspected the vehicle and discovered six large bundles of marijuana wrapped in rope and pieces of seatbelt, fashioned into makeshift backpacks.
Believing that the vehicle the Suburban had been following was involved in this activity, Trigo contacted Sgt. Alan Gonzalez with the Duval County Sheriff's Department, advising him to detain the vehicle. The driver of the Trailblazer was then identified as Hector Bejar, a 22-year old from Houston. His passengers were Miguel Gonzalez, 19, also from Houston, and Gabriel Rodriguez, 34, of Baytown.
The individuals revealed that they were involved in making a delivery of the marijuana, as well as illegal aliens who were seeking transport back to Houston.
When U.S. Border Patrol Agents arrived at Trigo's location, they conducted a search of the brush alongside the road and found three males, 32-year old Noe Garcia-Duarte of Michoacana, Mexico, 26-year old Vicente Duarte-Gallegos of Guerrero, Mexico, and 28-year old Miguel Pascasio Macario of Guatemala. They readily admitted that they transported the marijuana using the makeshift backpacks in order to get passed U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints. They were doing it as payment for transport to Houston.
All six individuals received charges for possession of marijuana in the amount of 50-pounds or over, which is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 20 years and a fine of $10,000. The three occupants of the Trailblazer, Bejar, Gonzalez and Rodriguez, were also charged with engaging in organized criminal activity as well as human trafficking, which is a first-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
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