Two Texas residents were arrested on drug charges on Feb. 16 after authorities found $36,000 of hydroponic marijuana in their vehicle. The incident took place in Jefferson County.

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, a narcotics officer pulled over a BMW SUV on the 19000 block of FM 365 after the driver allegedly committed multiple traffic violations. A Beaumont Police Department K-9 was brought to the scene, and the dog signaled that illegal drugs were in the vehicle. Officers searched the BMW and found 18 pounds of suspected hydroponic marijuana inside a set of luggage.

The occupants of the BMW, a 27-year-old Port Arthur man and a 25-year-old Richmond woman, were placed under arrest. They were both charged with third-degree felony possession of marijuana and booked into the Jefferson County Correctional Facility. The arrests were conducted in cooperation with the Beaumont Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Individuals facing a drug charge risk harsh consequences, including lengthy incarceration and heavy fines, if they are convicted. However, every defendant has the right to fight drug charges in court. There are a number of defense strategies a criminal defense attorney could use to build a strong defense and help a defendant avoid conviction. For example, if an attorney discovers police overstepped their authority during the search of a vehicle, the charges could be dropped. In cases where the evidence is more difficult to dispute, legal counsel could negotiate with prosecutors for a plea bargain that allows the defendant to plead guilty to reduced charges. This could lead to less severe punishments, such as the defendant being sentenced to a drug diversion program in lieu of prison.

Source: Beaumont Enterprise, “Authorities find $36K worth of marijuana during Jefferson Co. bust“, Feb. 17, 2017