JARRELL, Texas (KXAN) — The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office made one of the biggest drug busts in county history Tuesday when it confiscated $1.5 million in methamphetamine and heroin during a routine traffic stop.
Deputies seized 111 pounds of meth and 63 pounds of heroin in containers welded to the rims inside the tires of a 2008 Chevy pickup truck.
As much as $1 million in meth and heroin was seized during a @WilCoSheriffPIO traffic stop along I-35 in Jarrell Tuesday. Drugs were hidden in the wheel wells. pic.twitter.com/S4P0tXbPW3— Tom Miller (@TomMillerKXAN) February 27, 2019
“This is by far what we believe to be one of the largest, if not the largest drug seizure of recent times,” Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody said.
The stop happened around 4 p.m. along I-35 in Jarrell.
Deputies initially pulled over Lucia Garcia, 37, of Eagle Pass, for following the car in front of her too closely, according to Chody.
When they started talking to her about what she was doing and where she was going, they sensed something wasn’t right.
“The inconsistency with the driver’s story raised suspicion of the deputy and the driver provided consent to search the vehicle.”
Garcia gave deputies permission to search the truck and after taking it to the department’s impound lot they removed the wheels and found the drugs.
She is now facing two first-degree felony charges
According to a 2018 UT study on drug patterns and trends in Texas, methamphetamine is the number 1 drug threat in Texas. The drug makes up 40 percent of items seized and identified in DEA labs.
UT Professor Jane Maxwell authored the study and said nearly all meth in the U.S. is coming from Mexico.
“It’s people who seem kinda innocent, little old ladies driving sedans,” said Maxwell. “It’s not what you think drug traffickers are driving, but there is so much money they are willing to try.”
Chody believes the drugs were coming from Mexico and heading to Dallas when they got intercepted in Jarrell. Had they been allowed to reach their destination, he has no doubt they would have made their way back.
“They go to Dallas, cut it up, and it comes right back to Central Texas.”