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Asleep at the Wheel

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Man Arrested with over 900 Ecstasy Pills

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – A Pennsylvania man is behind bars after a police officer went to check on him when he was observed slumped over his steering wheel.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Sgt. Larenzo Simpson was on patrol Wednesday, July 22 when he stopped at the EZ Stop convenience store, located at 501 E. Goliad Ave. While he was there, Sgt. Simpson observed a man slumped over the steering wheel of a 2020 Hyundai Elantra.

The police sergeant wheeled his patrol unit around so the two vehicles were driver-side door to driver- side door. The man in the Hyundai, identified as 25-year-old Shane Michael Cross appeared to wake up at this point and when Sgt. Simpson rolled down his window to check on him, Cross rolled down his window as well.

When he did, Simpson reported he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside of Cross’s vehicle. Simpson asked if he was alright to which Cross replied he was fine. Simpson also asked Cross how much marijuana he had in the vehicle “… and he raised a plastic baggy containing a usable amount showing it to Sgt. Simpson stating, ‘Just a little bit!’” the affidavit reported. 

At that point, Simpson asked Cross for his identification and advised him to step out of the vehicle so a probable cause search could be conducted.   

“During the search, a large quantity of approximately 931 multiple colored ecstasy/molly pills (approximate weight 168.22 grams) and a large quantity of a green/brown leafy substance – marijuana (approximate weight of 4.06 ounces) were discovered,” the probable cause document stated.

Simpson also discovered Cross had $458 which he believed “… to be consistent with the use of drug money and to have aided in the purchase of the illegal narcotics/drugs.”

Cross was placed under arrest and transported to the Houston County Jail where he was booked into custody on: possession of a controlled substance, penalty group 2 – a second degree felony; and possession of marijuana – a state jail felony.

According to Section 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 20 years or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”  

A state jail felony, meanwhile, carries a sentence of confinement in a state jail facility for between 180 days and two years, along with a fine of up to $10,000.

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

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