Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

May 1, 2013

Three arrested while driving through town – essentially drifting in a cloud of marijuana smoke

JACKSONVILLE — Three young men police believe to be extremely stoned were taken into custody by Jacksonville Police early Monday after the officers who stopped them for reckless driving were pelted by a thick cloud of marijuana smoke coming from their vehicle.

“The smell was overwhelming,” said Jacksonville Police Sgt. Jason Price. “I mean, it would knock you down. … The smell, both burned and unburned marijuana, was tremendous. Even before I got close to the vehicle I could smell it in the open air.”

This discovery led to a search of the vehicle, in which officers found “a fairly large amount of marijuana” in the trunk, explained Jacksonville Police Chief Reece Daniel.

Nearly four ounces, to be exact. Prescription pills  and snacks also were found.

The three told authorities during the 8 a.m. stop they got lost returning to Tyler after leaving a Houston rap concert. Authorities pulled the vehicle over in the parking lot of Whataburger, 627 S. Jackson St.

Price said the driver was conscious, but the front seat passenger was either asleep or passed out and a third passenger was sprawled out across the back seat, unconscious for one reason or another.

When authorities questioned the driver, he seemed to “not be 'with it' mentally,” Price said.

The passengers, when awakened, displayed the same signs of intoxication as the driver. They were all asked to exit the vehicle.

The officer had pulled over the vehicle because it was weaving but also because he had noticed the vehicle had a white light showing in its rear. Additionally, the view of the vehicle's license plate blocked by dangling equipment.

The strong marijuana smell gave Jacksonville Police the “probable cause” they needed to search the vehicle – which is when the marijuana was found as well as prescription Xanax and its generic counterpart, Alprazolam, Sgt. Price said. Both are used to treat anxiety.

“The back seat passenger also was found to have bag of marijuana in his pocket,” Sgt. Price said. “The front seat passenger said he had additional marijuana tucked in his seat. The driver is the one who admitted to the marijuana in the trunk.”

Driver Gilberto Rod-riguez, 18; front seat passenger Mark Anthony Morales, 18; and back seat passenger Edwardo Ociel Garcia, 18; were all taken into custody and booked into Jacksonville jail, jail records show.  Their vehicle was registered to a woman from Tyler.

Morales was arrested on suspicion of: driving while intoxicated (on marijuana), a Class B misdemeanor; possession of marijuana, a third degree felony; possession of a controlled substance, a state jail felony; and possession of a dangerous drug, a Class A misdemeanor. A judge on Tues-day morning set his bond at $7,500.

Morales was arrested on suspicion of: possession of marijuana less than two ounces, a Class B misdemeanor; and public intoxication, a class c misdemeanor. The judge on Tuesday set his bond at $4,000.

Garcia was arrested on suspicion of: possession of marijuana less than two ounces; possession of a controlled substance, a third degree felony; and possession of a dangerous drug, a Class A misdemeanor. Garcia was the passenger found with the pills. The judge set his bond at $1,000.

The rapper the three men told police they had traveled to Houston to see perform was also from the Tyler area.  

“They went to listen to the show but partied too hard and got lost coming home,” Sgt. Price said. “From the smell of the car, it seems like they were lost in a haze.”

In the truck – in addition to backpacks filled with clothes – was a freezer bag with the nearly four ounces of marijuana in it.

“Also in the trunk were a half-eaten bag of potato chips and honey buns,” Sgt, Price said. “They had their 'munchies' and their 'weed' all together.”

The three were ex-tremely cooperative with authorities, the sergeant said.

“Everyone was really chilled out,” he said. “When we got to jail they did ask what time we were eating.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Christian Rapper 0419.tif Local rap artist spreads the 411 on Jesus

    "I have seen things in my life that would make Dr. Phil crazy," Jacksonville native, ordained minister and aspiring rap artist Stephen I. Crow Jr. said with a laugh. "That's why I don't label my music specifically as "Christian rap" -- yes, Christians who love rap can listen and hopefully be uplifted, but I truly want and am trying to bring the word and Jesus' message to people who may never have heard it or don't believe it's for them.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tomato Bowl flushed to bottom of priorities

    The historic Tomato Bowl, built in 1940, stands strong on the outside, but according to some people the inside needs a lot of work in order to not be an eyesore.

    April 19, 2014

  • Cherokee County arrest: April 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    April 19, 2014

  • Jacksonville College, high schools team up to offer dual credit program

    Jacksonville College is currently offering qualifying high school juniors and seniors attending Jacksonville and New Summerfield ISDs and The Brookhill School in Bullard the opportunity to get head start on their higher education.

    April 18, 2014

  • JISD board members to consider district strategic plan

    The Jacksonville ISD Board of Trustees will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, to discuss a district strategic plan and consider buying new band uniforms.

    April 18, 2014

  • 2 men arrested after standoff in grocery store

    Two men were arrested early Wednesday morning after a standoff at the B&B Foods in Alto.
    According to Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson, a person reported seeing two black males at the store just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Some area entities closed for holiday

    Many area offices and businesses will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday and Easter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Dispatcher Enge 0416.tif JPD dispatcher killed in wreck

    A dispatcher for the Jacksonville Police Department was killed Monday on her way to work, according to officials.
    Amber Enge, 35, of Whitehouse was pronounced dead at the scene of a one-vehicle wreck Monday afternoon on CR 2177 in Whitehouse.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • CR speed limit changes, E-filling fee top agenda

    On Monday, Cherokee County commissioners set April 28 to hold public hearings concerning the changing speed limits on two county roads.

    April 16, 2014

  • Catherine look.tif Religious lines drawn: Protesters met by members of Church of Wells

    Other than a few community members' voices that rose above the crowd, the protest Saturday against the Church of Wells remained peaceful.

    April 15, 2014 3 Photos