Proof that Cops Always Have the Best Stash, Pt. 3

Herein find the sad tale of a pleasure trip to Houston (!) gone terribly wrong....

Here’s a tip: If you want to haul a large stash of pot from the border up to Austin, it would probably be a good idea to have a driver’s license, to have a front license plate on your car, and to obey the posted speed limit. And, hell, it’d probably be smart to have a good cover story in place too. (Just a thought.)

Case in point: On Sept. 5, Travis Co. Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brett Hellerud spied a black Chevy Camaro (sans front plate) speeding northbound on IH-35. He pulled the car over only to find that 20-year-old driver Frank Gabriel Martinez didn’t have a driver’s license – but he did have a female passenger, and a lame story to tell. In an affidavit for Martinez’s arrest, Hellerud wrote that Martinez told him that he was driving to Austin from Brownsville to see his girlfriend’s suicidal brother. But when Hellerud asked Martinez’s female passenger (traveling with her two-year-old child) where the two were headed she said they were on the way to Houston to “just hang out.” (Apparently she lacks a keen sense of direction and, quite possibly, any sense of fun – hanging out in Houston? Yikes.)

Hellerud was (understandably) suspicious, asked for permission to search the car, and in the trunk found a blue duffel bag stuffed with 14 duct-taped packages of marijuana – a total of just more than 72 pounds of pot. (At least he didn’t just jam the stash up in front of the car’s rear window like so many other pot purveyors popped by cops along Texas roadways. Still, Reefer Madness suspects this is cold comfort for Martinez, who is clearly a contender for membership in the club of least competent criminals.) Martinez was charged with felony pot possession and booked into the Travis County Jail on a $35,000 bond. The TCSO says Martinez was transporting the pot “for another person” in Austin, but that the person has not yet been identified. Investigators determined that Martinez’s female companion had no clue the pot was in the car, and she and her child were both released without charge – and, curse that luck, without a ride to Houston.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Marijuana
APD (Finally) Ends Low-Level Marijuana Enforcement
APD (Finally) Ends Low-Level Marijuana Enforcement
Chief announces move, six months after Council told him to

Austin Sanders, July 2, 2020

Abbott Orders Texas Prosecutors to Enforce Marijuana Laws
Abbott Orders Texas Prosecutors to Enforce Marijuana Laws
Travis County D.A. says dismissals will continue

Kevin Curtin, July 18, 2019

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

marijuana, TCSO

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle