Premont Store Owner Says Clerks were Wrongfully Arrested - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Premont Store Owner Says Clerks were Wrongfully Arrested

Posted: Updated:
PREMONT (Kiii News) -

A convenience store owner in Premont says the police chief there had no right to arrest two of her clerks and put them in county jail earlier this week.

She also says the chief had no right to confiscate a bunch of smoking products from her store, but the Police Chief Rick Herrera says those products are synthetic marijuana, and that will not be tolerated in that city.

A city ordinance defining "restricted smoking material" and prohibiting the use, purchase, possession and sale of those materials it lists products such as K-2, Sage, Spice and Kush, among others. The question is, does what the chief confiscated from the store fall under the ordinance?

Herrera says yes. On Thursday, at the Premont Police Department, he showed a bag full of smoking products that he confiscated from the Junior's Quikstop store. He said he took close to 700 cigarillos of all kinds and flavors, including french grape, pineapple and Kush. He also took Cyclones, Zigzags and a disposable hookah.

It was earlier this week that the chief arrested store clerks Virginia Garza and Carol Hernandez, and charged them with a Class B misdemeanor for the manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance; but the clerks and the owner of Junior's Quikstop in Premont say the chief arrested the women for something that is not against the law, and that he is confusing potpourri for Kush.

The owner said she purchased the cigarillos at Sam's Club in Corpus Christi, and even had the receipts.

"These cigars are predominantly natural tobacco, with non-tobacco ingredients added, meaning it takes you to the tobacco but then it doesn't have the tobacco," Herrera said. "So then what is it? And why is the Kush label on these products?"

"This is the reason he found, Kush cigarillos, to arrest my employees and put them through the embarrassment of taking them to jail? That's not right," said Marissa Luera, owner of Juniors Quikstop. "And I am very upset with what's going on, and I'm going to have to take this to court."

Luera said the chief did not have a search warrant, and therefore he had no right to search her store and confiscate the products. The chief said he had probable cause because he asked the store clerks if they sell Kush, and they said yes. The clerks deny that account.

Luera does have a lawyer and plans on suing the police department. The county attorney says she is aware of the case, but has not yet spoke with the Chief Herrera. A call to the mayor was not returned.

  • The City Attorney's Office Gets Performance Review

    The City Attorney's Office Gets Performance Review

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:16 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:16:28 GMT
    The City of Corpus Christi has received the results of a formal review of their Attorney's Office. Our Bill Churchwell has a look at the highlights from the report.More >>
    The City of Corpus Christi has received the results of a formal review of their Attorney's Office. Our Bill Churchwell has a look at the highlights from the report.More >>
  • Local Residents Dealing With Hunger Problem

    Local Residents Dealing With Hunger Problem

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:11 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:11:24 GMT
    According to a new study here in Texas, the Corpus Christi area is above average when it comes to people living with food insecurity. Food insecurity is when you don't know where your next meal is coming from. If you would like to donate to the Food Bank Of Corpus Christi call this number: (361) 887-6291If you would like to donate to Senior Services call this number: (361)-826-3150More >>
    According to a new study here in Texas, the Corpus Christi area is above average when it comes to people living with food insecurity. Food insecurity is when you don't know where your next meal is coming from. If you would like to donate to the Food Bank Of Corpus Christi call this number: (361) 887-6291If you would like to donate to Senior Services call this number: (361)-826-3150More >>
  • Local Cheerleaders Head To National Competition

    Local Cheerleaders Head To National Competition

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:06 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:06:21 GMT
    A group of local young cheerleaders are getting ready to head to a national competition in Orlando, Florida. They are hosting a couple of fundraisers on Saturday. More >>
    A group of local young cheerleaders are getting ready to head to a national competition in Orlando, Florida. They are hosting a couple of fundraisers on Saturday. 
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KIII. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.