Wanted fugitive in custody after traffic stop yields drugs
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Routine patrol by a La Salle County sheriff’s deputy on the outskirts of Cotulla Sunday afternoon, February 19, resulted in the discovery of black tar heroin and crystal methamphetamine in the possession of a man listed as a fugitive by the Austin Parole Board.
Identified as 59-year-old Thomas Joe Haseltine of Edinburg, Texas, the suspect in the case was driving a 2006 Mitsubishi sedan when he was stopped for a traffic violation on the IH-35 west-side access road shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday by Deputy Eusebio Garcia.
Haseltine reportedly gave the officer consent to examine the vehicle, and the subsequent search revealed a quantity of heroin, according to the sheriff’s office. The driver was then found to have attempted to mislead the officer with false identity information.
Haseltine had been listed as wanted on a parole violation, according to investigators.
“The driver was then found to be in possession of a bag of crystal methamphetamine, which he was carrying in his pocket,” La Salle Sheriff’s Lt. Homar Olivarez said of the incident. “The suspect was transported without further incident to the La Salle County Jail.”
Haseltine has been charged with second-degree and third-degree felony counts of possession of a controlled substance as well as failure to identify himself as a fugitive. He remained behind bars Tuesday.