Traffic stop leads to drug seizure, arrests

Courtesy: DA Luis Saenz

A “sudden and violent” turn resulted in a traffic stop that netted two alleged drug traffickers and a seizure of a little more than 60 pounds of methamphetamine.

The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office Special Investigation Unit arrested Luis Gerardo Gaytan and Luis Gerardo Barroso-Ramirez last Friday after stopping the white Chevrolet pickup driven by Barroso-Ramirez on Dana Road.

The DA’s Office turned the men over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, who charged them each with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute approximately 60 pounds of methamphetamine.

According to the criminal complaint, the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office was conducting routine patrol in the area of Barcelona and Dr. Hugh Emerson roads just after 7 p.m. when authorities say they saw the white Chevrolet pickup “take a sudden and violent right turn” onto Dana Road.

The DEA says in the criminal complaint that the driver of the vehicle used the turn signal, but after the “sudden and violent” turn investigators with the DA’s Office pulled the vehicle over for use of turn signals, failing to signal continuously for 100 feet.

While conducting the traffic stop, Barroso-Ramirez “suddenly” turned into someone’s driveway, according to the criminal complaint, which states that Barroso-Ramirez gave authorities verbal consent to search the vehicle.

That’s where investigators saw a tan container sitting on the back seat with three to four bundles wrapped in cellophane, according to the charging document.

Barrosa-Ramirez said Gaytan contacted him that day asking for a ride to pickup an unknown amount of narcotics and transport them to his home, court documents indicate.

Barrosa-Ramirez apparently agreed for payment of $400.

DEA agents allege that Barrosa-Ramirez picked Gaytan up at a San Benito gas station before stopping along the side of Military Highway by a white Ford F-150, where that vehicle’s unknown driver placed the tan container in Barrosa-Ramirez’s backseat.

The men then traveled toward Gaytan’s residence when the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office Special Investigation Unit pulled them over and discovered a little more than 60 pounds of methamphetamine contained in 21 bundles.

The men made a first appearance in federal court Monday and are being held without bond pending probable cause and detention hearings scheduled for Thursday afternoon.