By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – Readers have probably seen that headline before. Usually, however, the traffic stop leads to a drug bust. And while there were drugs found at the scene, this time the traffic stop led to a forgery bust.
Justin Lloyd Dixon, 34, and Christina Nicole Castro, 34, were both arrested and charged with forgery of financial instruments as well as manufacturing with the intent to sell counterfeit instruments after the vehicle they were traveling in was stopped because of a defective brake light.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Crockett Police Department Lt. Lonnie Lim was on patrol during the early morning hours of Sept. 11 when he received a call about a reckless driver. Lt. Lum observed the vehicle as it traveled around the square in Crockett and began to follow it.
When the vehicle turned on to Bowie Street, the police lieutenant observed the vehicle had a defective brake light and initiated a traffic stop.
The police report stated, “I (Lum) exited my vehicle and approached the passenger side and a Hispanic female rolled down the window. I could immediately smell the extremely strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. At this time, I did not mention this but spoke to both the driver and passenger. I then identified them both and advised them (about) the reason for the stop. I spoke to them briefly about where they were going to and coming from and while talking to them, I observed an AR-15 in the backseat, on top of a speaker box. Due to the odor of marijuana and a weapon being in the vehicle, the occupants (Dixon and Castro), were asked to step out.”
When Lum ran the criminal histories of the two, the results showed Dixon was a convicted felon. The police lieutenant then asked about the odor of marijuana and Castro “… immediately admitted that she had some marijuana in the car in her bag.”
A probable cause search was conducted and a blue Kobalt backpack was found in the backseat of the vehicle.
“Dixon admitted that the backpack belonged to him. Inside the backpack was a scale commonly used for weighing drugs, a Pronto card printing machine and five fictitious/false Texas drivers licenses made from this machine, two lap tops and miscellaneous other items,” the affidavit reported.
Two other fake drivers’ licenses were also found in Dixon’s wallet. The licenses had Dixon’s picture on them, but had different identifying numbers and addresses. In addition, the search also uncovered 12 blank cards used in making the fake drivers’ licenses stashed in a visor area.
As the investigation continued, a safe was discovered which contained two handguns along with 87 more blank cards used to make the phony licenses. An unopened package of unprinted check paper, along with several forged checks, were also found.
Dixon was placed under arrest and booked into custody on charges of: felonious possession of a firearm, a third-degree felony; forgery of a financial instrument, a state jail felony; and delivery or manufacture of a counterfeit instrument, also a third-degree felony.
Castro was charged with: unlawful carrying of a weapon, a Class A misdemeanor; possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor; possession of a controlled substance, penalty group one, a third-degree felony; forgery of a financial instrument, a state jail felony; and delivery or manufacture of a counterfeit instrument, also a third-degree 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.”
The total bond for Dixon was set at $30,000 while Castro’s bond was set at $32,500. Both Dixon and Castro posted bond and were released, pending further legal proceedings.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.