A 31-year-old Texas man faces up to 20 years in a federal prison after being convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. A jury found the man guilty after a trial that lasted for only one day according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas. The man was indicted along with six alleged co-conspirators in July 2019. Five of his co-conspirators subsequently pleaded guilty to drug charges. The sixth is currently a fugitive.
Texas residents who are convicted on first-degree felony charges can be sent to prison for up to 99 years. Such sentences are generally reserved for individuals who commit violent crimes like murder, but they can also be handed down to defendants who committed what many people would consider relatively minor narcotics offenses. Under current Texas law, an individual who bakes a batch of cannabis brownies and then offers them to friends at a party could spend the rest of their life behind bars.
A three-vehicle accident in Texas on Oct. 19 led to the discovery of more than 100 pounds of marijuana. A 28-year-old man has been taken into custody in connection with the seized drugs. He has been charged with suspicion of marijuana possession and cited for speeding and operating an unregistered motor vehicle. He also has three outstanding warrants for failing to maintain financial responsibility for a motor vehicle according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
Police in Texas have reported that a 54-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman were taken into custody on the evening of Oct. 10 after illegal drugs were found in their vehicle during a routine traffic stop. The man has been charged with drug possession, and his bond has been set at $6,000. The woman faces drug manufacturing and distribution charges and is being held on a $30,000 bond.
On Sept. 18, Texas authorities seized approximately 22 pounds of methamphetamine during a traffic stop. The incident took place in McKinney.
On Sept. 23, Texas authorities announced the arrests of five people for allegedly distributing marijuana and THC products in central Texas. The arrests, which took place in August and September, were the culmination of an investigation by the Bell County Sheriff's Office.
In June 2019, hemp production became legal. Law enforcement agencies, however, lack an easy way to differentiate between hemp and marijuana. The situation has resulted in inconsistent enforcement of marijuana laws throughout the state. Some law enforcement agencies continue to cite people for possessing marijuana and sometimes arrest them. In other communities, law enforcement leaders have chosen to largely ignore marijuana.
An apartment complex in Tyler was the scene of a drug raid in late August. Narcotics investigators in Henderson County had targeted the home of a 53-year-old woman. According to the Henderson County Sheriff, she had been arrested the week before in a different town and found to have one-quarter pound of methamphetamine in her possession. At her Tyler location, authorities reported seizing another half pound of methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and a substance believed to be cocaine. The woman now faces charges of manufacturing and delivering controlled substances. The court set her bond at $50,000, and she remains jailed in the Smith County Jail.
When Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that legalized the cultivation of hemp in the state, dozens of district and county attorneys announced that they would stop prosecuting low-level marijuana cases. These prosecutors were not taking a stand on the issue of marijuana legalization, they were choosing to avoid pursuing cases they did not believe they could win. Crime labs in Texas are not currently able to determine with accuracy the THC content of marijuana, which means that prosecutors are not able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance a marijuana defendant was caught with was marijuana and not hemp.
Texas authorities have busted seven people on drug charges after executing a search warrant at a residence in Marshall. The arrests stemmed from an ongoing investigation by the Harrison County Sheriff's Office.