Police in Texas have reported that an anonymous tip received on the afternoon of Dec. 16 led to the seizure of marijuana with an approximate street value of more than $900,000 in Denton County. Officers from the Lewisville Police Department are said to have found 372 packages of the drug concealed in cardboard boxes during the search of a U-Haul trailer. Following the discovery, a 28-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man were brought into custody on second-degree felony drug possession charges.
According to police reports, the anonymous caller said that the couple was transporting the drugs from California to one of two addresses in Lewisville. Both marked and unmarked police vehicles were dispatched to the two addresses, and the couple was spotted leaving an apartment complex on Hebron Station Parkway. The woman was driving a silver pickup truck hauling a trailer, and the man was driving a black SUV.
Officers say that they followed the two vehicles for a short time before pulling them over for motor vehicle infractions. A K9 unit alerted authorities twice during a free air sniff. Police say that they recovered a total of 418 pounds of marijuana. The couple now faces between two and 20 years in prison if convicted.
Cases such as this one often hinge on the constitutionality of searches. Criminal defense attorneys could seek to have drug charges dismissed when rights guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment may have been violated. Attorneys could also question the validity of searches when the length of a routine traffic stop was extended to allow a K9 unit to be called in.