The Weatherford Police Department seized 57 pounds of marijuana from Jorge Ramos, 30, of El Paso, Sunday evening after his vehicle stalled in the 800 block of the Interstate 20 East service road.
“This subject is a reported gang member from El Paso that was traveling to Fort Worth and had some car problems,” WPD Chief Lance Arnold said. “It was really a great job of being proactive and also good teamwork between the officers involved.”
Arnold said WPD Officers Kayla Callaway and John Shelley arrived to the scene to make sure nobody was in need of help in regards to the stalled vehicle.
“Officer Shelley was able to locate the subject that was later arrested walking back towards the car — I guess he had gone to buy some oil for the car — and he provided false information about his name and his date of birth, and had some conflicting stories,” Arnold said. “He also had an open container of alcohol that was visible inside the car in a cupholder. So his nervous behavior, the false name and date of birth, along with the open container really caused the officers to investigate the situation a little further.”
Arnold said Ramos gave the two officers consent to search his vehicle.
“Honestly, in this case with the open container and false information, it would have allowed us to search for more evidence, but he gave consent to search the vehicle,” Arnold said. “The 47 bundles of marijuana were filled in the rear corner panels and in a spare tire, so again, just solid investigative work to find out what was actually going on.”
Arnold said this type of bust isn’t extremely common, but it’s not unusual.
“We’ve made large seizures before, it’s not something that’s extremely common, but we know that the potential is always there with the corridors we have — the U.S. highways, I-20 and state highways that come through town,” Arnold said. “Anytime you can get this amount, it’s definitely a solid job for sure.”
Ramos was arrested and booked into the Parker County Jail for failure to ID/giving false information and possession of marijuana, more than 50 pounds, less than 2,000 pounds. His bond has not been set at this time.
Arnold also wanted to address some comments made by the public about police officers wasting time on marijuana arrests and the legality of it.
“We take whatever comes to us and this particular amount, the reported gang ties for the subject and the fact that it was concealed really led us to believe that this was headed for distribution in or around the Metro area and probably not to the same people that are in need of using medical marijuana,” Arnold said. “Regardless of what people’s thoughts are on the legality of marijuana, this was a significant amount of marijuana that was coming into the area and had ties to criminal organizations.”