By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – Law enforcement agencies were busy over the Labor Day Weekend with the typical arrests for driving while intoxicated, criminal mischief and other assorted crimes. They were also busy trying to curb the illegal narcotics activity in and around Crockett as they made nearly a half-dozen arrests for drug possession.
The arrests started bright and early on Friday morning when Crockett Police Officer Mathew Van Egmond observed a black Nissan Armada traveling down N. 3rd St. with two different Texas license plates.
When the officer made contact with the driver, the driver identified himself as Naushaw Hopkins, 38 from Crockett. A female passenger in the vehicle was identified as Melissa Pearl Ortiz, 30 also from Crockett.
After running Hopkins’ information through dispatch, it was determined Hopkins had outstanding warrants for his arrest. Once Hopkins was detained and placed in the backseat of the officer’s patrol unit, VanEgmond returned to the Nissan, where Ortiz had slid over into the driver’s seat.
Ortiz was asked if there “… was anything inside of the vehicle that was illegal, Ortiz stated there wasn’t and provided Officer VanEgmond with consent to search the vehicle.”
During the course of the search, a red-glass marijuana pipe was discovered, along with a glass methamphetamine pipe and approximately one gram of meth. A pistol was also discovered in the glove box.
Hopkins was arrested for the outstanding warrants while Ortiz was arrested on charges of: possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of a controlled substance, penalty group 1, in an amount greater than or equal to four grams but less than 200 grams (meth pipe 12.7 grams and baggie with meth one gram); and unlawful carrying of a firearm.
The possession charge is a second-degree 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.”
The total bond for Ortiz was set at $11,874 and was posted on Sept. 4.
Concerning the next drug-related arrest, the Texas Department of Public Safety got involved. An affidavit of arrest indicated DPS Trooper Kody Woolley and Sgt. Tamela Snider were on patrol at approximately 1:39 pm on Friday, Sept. 3 when they observed a black Toyota Scion traveling east at a high rate of speed on State Highway 7.
The DPS Trooper clocked the Scion traveling at 88 mph in a 75-mph zone and initiated a traffic stop.
“The driver was identified as Anderson, Kiara (29 from Pearland). I (Trooper Woolley) smelled a strong odor of fresh marijuana emitting from inside the vehicle. I observed a metal grinder sitting in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. I observed the vehicle registration insignia (5/21) was expired,” the affidavit stated.
Anderson was asked to exit the vehicle so a probable cause search could be conducted. During the search, the DPS troopers found: a metal container with burnt marijuana cigarettes; a container with marijuana; a container with rolling papers, a roach clip, a glass pipe and a cigarette roller; and a metal container with 16 pills – later identified as Vyvanse – and a piece of foil containing orange colored paper – later identified as LSD. Vyvanse is an amphetamine derivative used to treat ADHD.
Anderson was placed under arrest and transported to the Houston County Jail where she was booked into custody on charges of: possession of marijuana, less than two ounces; possession of a controlled substance (Vyvanse), penalty group two (a third-degree felony); and possession of a controlled substance (LSD), penalty group one, in ana amount less than one gram (a state jail felony.)
According to Section 12.34 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the third degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 10 years or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the third degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”
Total bond for Anderson was set at $11,500 and was posted on Sept. 4.
Shortly after Anderson was taken into custody, officers with the Crockett Police Department made another Friday afternoon drug bust.
After transferring custody of Melissa Pearl Ortiz over to the Houston County Jail, CPD Officer Mathew VanEgmond was back on the streets and received a dispatch at approximately 3:45 pm in reference to a suspicious vehicle parked in the alleyway behind the former Stage clothing store.
When he arrived at the location, VanEgmond made contact with the driver of the vehicle who was identified as 27-year-old Sergio Macias Gonzalez.
“Officer VanEgmond asked the male subject what he was doing. The male subject stated he was on his two-hour break and sleeping. Officer VanEgmond could visibly see the male suspect being nervous. The male suspect’s hands started shaking uncontrollably,” an affidavit of probable cause indicated.
As officers walked around the vehicle, they noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the car. This gave the officers probable cause for a search and the search yielded meth, drug paraphernalia and an unregistered weapon.
Gonzalez was transported to the Houston County Jail where he was booked into custody on: possession of a controlled substance, PG 1 (meth – a second degree felony); unlawful carrying of a weapon (Class A misdemeanor); and possession of drug paraphernalia.
His total bond was set at $24,374. It was posted on Sept. 4 and Gonzalez was released pending further legal proceedings.
The drug busts continued Monday, Sept. 6 as two Crockett men were arrested with significant amounts of illegal narcotics in their possession.
Crockett Police Officer Cameron Dickey and CPD Lt. Lonnie Lum were dispatched to the Economy Inn, located on 4th Street shortly after 7 pm in reference to a “… female who was supposedly drugged and prostituted. Upon the officers’ arrival, the female in question was not located. At approximately 20:10, I was contacted by dispatch again and advised that the female was in room 115. I (Dickey) responded to that location.”
When the officers arrived back at the motel, they made contact with two men in the area of room previously mentioned. One male was standing by a truck and identified as 37-year-old Billy Vaughn Patton, Jr. while the other was just coming out of Room 115 and was identified as 42-year-old Damon Earl Hickman. Both men are from Crockett.
When asked for his identification, Patton entered the room in question to retrieve his wallet. Lt. Lum followed him inside and observed a meth pipe lying on the bed.
“Lt. Lum asked Patton and Hickman who the pipe belonged to and neither one took ownership. They were both placed under arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia at that time. Lt. Lum then began to search Hickman and found cocaine in Hickman’s pocket,” an affidavit stated.
A further search of the room and the vehicle Patton was standing by yielded: 25.8 grams of meth, found in the driver’s side door of Patton’s truck; less than a gram of cocaine, found in Hickman’s pocket; less than a gram of meth lying on the table of Room 115; and 40.1 grams of suspected liquid meth found between the bed and the wall of the room.
Hickman was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, penalty group one, in an amount greater than four grams but less than 200 grams (second-degree felonies) and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, penalty group one, in an amount less than one gram (state jail felonies).
Patton was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, penalty group one, in an amount greater than four grams but less than 200 grams (second-degree felonies) and one count of possession of a controlled substance, penalty group one, in an amount less than one gram (state jail felony).
Hickman’s total bond was set at $36,000 while Patton’s bond was set at $28,000. Both men are still in custody as of press time.
No further information was provided on the female alleged to have been in Room 115.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.