The Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department has had a busy week. On Monday, they confiscated more than 400 pounds of marijuana, and discovered another 550 pounds Thursday morning.
The load on Monday was worth close to $200,000. The Sheriff's Department says the load they found Thursday morning is worth $250,000, and it is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of marijuana making its way through Jim Wells County.
"That's just the small amount that we're catching out here. There's a lot of that stuff that's going by us, that we're not even catching, because our guys are busy, you know, doing other things. And there's no telling how many loads might have gone through while our deputy was chasing that vehicle this morning," said Chief Deputy Ray Ramon of the Jim Well's County Sheriff's Department.
A deputy made the bust around 7:15 a.m. by Highway 141 and 281. The deputy tried to stop a Durango for running a stop sign south of Alice, and it turned into a pursuit that lasted three miles. Eventually, the Durango drove off the road and into a ditch.
Eight people fled from the vehicle and went into the brush. The bundles of marijuana were found in the cargo area of the vehicle.
The Sheriff's Department said it is frustrating that most of the time, the people transporting the contraband get away.
"It is because sooner or later, they'll get picked up again by whoever may be following that load, and then the next couple of days, we'll be doing it all over again," Ramon said. "We stress to our deputies that if they're by themselves, and especially if you have eight individuals in that vehicle or however many, not to go chase them in the brush because you just never know who might be behind them, following them. You know, trying to protect that load. And we certainly don't want any of our people to get hurt out there."
The Sheriff's Department says their priority is to secure the contraband. They then call the U.S. Border Patrol to see if an aircraft is nearby to try and locate the individuals that have bailed into the brush.
They also said the bundles are being packaged and strapped with ropes and straps, showing them that the bundles are being walked around ranches to bypass the border security checkpoint.
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