“Borrowed” Car Leads to Arrests

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – A “borrowed” car led law enforcement officials to a hotel room in Crockett and resulted in the arrest of four individuals on first degree felony drug charges.

Crystal Dene Deleon, 35 from Houston, Cecilia Gomez, 38 from Houston, Jonathan Valles, 29 from Houston and Joshua Valles, 25 from Channelview, were all arrested and charged with the manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, penalty group one, in an amount greater than or equal to four grams four grams, but less than 200 grams  on Saturday, July 8.

Joshua Valles

In addition to the drug charges, Jonathan and Joshua Valles were charged with the unauthorized use of a vehicle, while Deleon was also charged with possession of marijuana.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, the arrests stemmed from an investigation into a domestic disturbance. The probable cause document stated a verbal argument between Justin Cook and his wife had escalated.

“It was also reported at that time (by a relative) that Justin Cook, while intoxicated on an illegal substance, had loaned (a relative’s) car out to some individuals from Houston, without her permission,” the affidavit indicated.

The wife informed the investigating deputy the husband “… had loaned the car to Joshua and Jonathan Valles to run errands in town because (the husband) didn’t want them at the residence while he argued with his wife.”

The Houston County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) investigating deputy was informed the car may be at a Crockett hotel and the complainants wanted it back.

Cecilia Gomez

The report further stated Cook had informed the deputy”… that the suspects were supposed to return the car that night but failed to do so and he had talked to them by phone where Joshua Valles had told him that they were not returning the car but would tell him where it could be picked up later.”

Cook was taken into custody and charged with assaulting a family member causing bodily injury, a class “A” misdemeanor.

The deputy contacted officers with the Crockett Police Department and requested their assistance in searching for the stolen vehicle. A short time later, the vehicle was located at the Economy Inn in Crockett where it was learned the occupants of the vehicle were in room 15, according to the affidavit.

Law enforcement officials from the HCSO and Crockett PD made contact with the occupants of the room and they were identified as Crystal Deleon, Cecilia Gomez, Jonathan Valles and Josh Valles. While speaking with the two Valles men, the affidavit reported each claimed the car “… had run out of gas and that was why they had not returned the vehicle.”

“During the course of the investigation,” the affidavit continued, “while retrieving the key to the car from the motel room, a HCSO deputy discovered – in plain sight – two white, clear plastic baggies. One bag contained 28 grams of a crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine and the other contained 9 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.”

The four individuals were all placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance.

Crystal Deleon

Deleon was also charged with possession of marijuana while Jonathan and Joshua Valles were charged unauthorized use of a motor vehicle (UUMV).

The manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, penalty group one, in an amount greater than or equal to four grams four grams, but less than 200 grams is considered a first degree felony under Texas law.

According to Section 12.32 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than five years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

The UUMV charge is considered a state jail felony and according to Section 12.35 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a state jail felony shall be punished by confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than two years or less than 180 days. In addition to confinement, an individual adjudged guilty of a state jail felony may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

The possession of marijuana charge is considered as a class “B” misdemeanor.

All four are currently held at the Houston County Jail. Bond for Deleon has been set at $32,500, $30,000 for Gomez and $35,000 apiece for Jonathan and Josh Valles.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.