Two people in Texas are facing drug charges after the Fort Bend County Narcotics Task Force conducted a raid. The 28-year-old man and 27-year-old woman were arrested as part of an investigation into drug sales in Houston and Sugar Land. The area has been identified as part of a HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) by law enforcement agencies, and the raid took place after police reported various undercover operations.
The investigation focused on the sale of marijuana and other THC products, and the search was carried out on December 3, 2018. Police arrested the two people and seized a number of items at the property, including around 11 pounds of cannabis, 3,230 grams of promethazine with codeine, 715 grams of THC wax extract, 814 grams of THC edibles, 628 grams of THC vaping liquid extract, 3,398 grams of THC extract oil, 131 grams of MDMA, nine doses of LSD, 2 grams of Xanax and $53,627 in cash.
Both people are facing a number of drug charges, including manufacturing/delivery of a controlled substance, money laundering and possession of marijuana. All of the charges have an enhancement for taking place in a drug-free zone, which can include locations around schools, universities, video arcades and playgrounds as well as public housing projects. Drug-free zone arrests can be used to escalate the charges to the next level of severity even if no children were never involved.
In some cases, law enforcement may manipulate drug-free zone laws in order to escalate possible charges. For example, undercover buyers may set up a purchase just inside a drug-free zone. The charge enhancement can lead to serious consequences, including long prison sentences. People who are facing drug charges can work with a criminal defense lawyer to challenge police and prosecution narratives and seek to avoid a conviction.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “2 arrested in Sugar Land after authorities find 11 pounds of marijuana, edibles, MDMA,” Roy Kent, December 11, 2018