Texas police say that a tip from a concerned citizen led to the seizure of about 22 pounds of cocaine in Cameron County on the morning of June 11. Three Florida men are being held without bond in connection with the seized drugs. They have been charged with drug possession with the intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
Court records reveal that the Brownsville Police Department received a tip on June 10 about three men staying at a local motel. Officers from the department's Special Investigations Unit were assigned to the case and set up a surveillance operation in the motel's parking lot. The following day, the officers say that they observed two of the men get into a Toyota SUV at approximately 8:45 a.m. and drive away. The Toyota was pulled over about 30 minutes later on Pablo Kisel Boulevard after an officer allegedly observed it fail to signal before changing lanes on North Frontage Road.
The men are said to have refused consent to search the vehicle, but a search was conducted after a K-9 unit allegedly alerted to the presence of drugs. During the search, officers say that they discovered a backpack containing six bundles of a substance that appeared to be cocaine wrapped in cellophane. The bundles weighed about 14 pounds according to reports. Police then obtained a search warrant for the men's motel room where a further 8 pounds of cocaine was allegedly discovered.
When presented with a series of events like this in a case involving serious drug charges, experienced criminal defense attorneys may scrutinize police reports to determine the legality of the initial traffic stop and whether or not the K-9 unit was present at the time of the stop or called to the scene. This is because seized drugs may be ruled inadmissible if police did not have probable cause to pull a vehicle over and the Supreme Court has ruled that searches are illegal when traffic stops are delayed unreasonably to summon K-9 units.