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A routine traffic stop turned into a felony drug arrest last week after officers found methamphetamine and marijuana.
Pearsall police say the driver behind the wheel of a Ford truck was traveling 21 miles over the posted speed limit on Oak Street. The officer effecting the traffic stop reportedly noted a strong smell of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.
During the vehicle search, officers discovered two scales, several bags used for packaging, marijuana, glass pipes and lighters in a bag found on the back seat.
A further search revealed several bags used for packaging, methamphetamine, and several bags containing Xanax that the passenger, Valerie Maldonado, 35, had reportedly attempted to conceal in a box underneath the passenger seat.
Maldonado and the driver, identified as 35-year-old Jerry Pina, were taken into custody. Maldonado had nearly $1,000 in US currency in her purse, according to investigators, and gave conflicting stories on why she had the money.
Pina was released; Maldonado was transported to the Frio County Jail.
Maldonado faces a second-degree felony charge for the manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance and a state jail felony charge for the manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance.
A third passenger, 32-year-old John Garcia, is charged with a third-degree felony for possession of a controlled substance. A warrant will be issued for his arrest.
“Officers are doing their best to remain vigilant and patrol the streets,” Lt. Michael Guerrero said. “We are working hard to seize the vehicle in an effort to deter them from selling and transporting drugs.”