Chesterton Tribune

PCSP: More than $7,000 seized in HIDTA traffic stop

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Two Texas residents were arrested Monday on a charge of possession of marijuana and more than $7,000 in cash seized after a traffic stop during a HIDTA drug interdiction operation on the Indiana Toll Road near Portage, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said.

According to police, 7:36 p.m. Ruben Trevino, 34, of Weslaco, Texas, was stopped at 24 mile marker in the eastbound lanes of the Toll Road for speeding. Before making contact with the Trevino and his passenger, Aurelio A. Guerra, 45, also of Weslaco, the officer observed Guerra throw a “small white object from the window,” police said.

When confronted, Guerra admitted throwing a marijuana cigarette from the window and then retrieved a baggy containing two grams of marijuana “From a natural void between the windshield/roof line and the vehicle’s headliner, police said.

The officer then informed the two that he wanted to search the vehicle further and that, if he found no narcotics or illegal weapons, would “likely release them from the scene with a mere traffic citation for the speed,” police said.

The officer subsequently found, in a plastic baggy in the top section of the center console, $7,300 in rubber-banded $100 bills, police said.

Trevino advised the officer that he makes “like $2,000” per week doing manual labor for a produce company and won “like $600” at a casino, police said. Guerra advised the officer that each of them makes between $400 and $500 per week and Trevino had only won $400 at the casino.

“Neither subject could even remotely estimate how much U.S. currency was inside the plastic bag and neither subject could explain the source of it,” police said.

Trevino and Guerra were taken into custody on a charge of possession of marijuana and transported to Porter County Jail, police said, while the $7,300 in cash was placed into evidence.

The investigating officer had been tasked to drug interdiction operations funded with federal moneys made available by Porter County’s membership in the Lake County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.


Posted 6/5/2012