Two men are facing felony drug charges after police allegedly discovered more than 8 pounds of marijuana during a July 2 traffic stop. The 28-year-old and 27-year-old Houston residents are said to have been on their way to Louisiana when a Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper pulled over their car on U.S. Highway 59 in Angelina County at approximately 12:15 p.m. Reports indicate that a significant quantity of pills and about 50 grams of a controlled liquid were also found in the vehicle.
According to a TDPS report, the men's car was initially pulled over for a motor vehicle violation. The trooper involved called in a K9 unit after becoming suspicious while questioning the man behind the wheel. However, police reports and media accounts do not indicate what led the trooper to believe that drugs were hidden in the vehicle.
Both men face second-degree felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and their-degree felony counts of marijuana possession. The 28-year-old man has also been charged with a felony count of unlawful possession of a firearm. After being taken into custody at the scene, the men were transported to the Angelina County Jail for processing. The 28-year-old man's bail has been set at $31,000 and the 27-year-old man's bail has been set at $12,000.
Criminal defense attorneys with experience in cases involving drug charges may study police reports very carefully when presented with facts like this. While motorists have no expectation of privacy while driving on public roads, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that traffic stops can't be delayed to call in K9 units without probable cause.
Source: KTRE, "Angelina County traffic stop results in 3 felony arrests, seizure of 8.5 lbs. of weed", Gary Bass, July 2, 2018
Source: U.S. Supreme Court, "Rodriguez v. United States", April 21, 2015