BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas (FOX 44) – A traffic stop leads to the discovery of a stolen truck, drugs and an arrest.
A Brazos County Precinct 3 Constable deputy was patrolling the 27000 block of Highway 6 in Brazos County at approximately 11 am Wednesday. The deputy saw a black 2021 GMC AT4 truck traveling northbound. The truck had a fraudulent Texas Paper tag as a license plate on the rear bumper.
Knowing fraudulent dealers victimize unknowing car buyers in this manner, as well as criminals using this tactic to mask criminal activity, the deputy initiated a traffic stop on the truck. The driver and sole occupant identified himself by his Mexico identification card to be Jose Samuel Castaneda Solano, of River Oaks, Texas.
During the investigative process, the truck was found to have been stolen from Harris County in spring 2021. The Vehicle Identification Number tags and stickers had been removed and replaced with fraudulent identifiers. The driver was then detained.
A search of the vehicle revealed a brown paper sack in a compartment under the rear seat. Inside were three large gray duct-taped bundles. The deputy showed these bundles to K-9 Diego, who “alerted” to the presence of narcotics on the duct-taped bundles found in the brown paper sack.
In the bed of the truck there was shrink-wrap packaging, vacuum sealer bags, duct-tape, and liquid soap/axle grease wrapped bundles which appeared to have been cut open – and the narcotics were removed. The packages also had a cartoon illustration on the outside of the bundle, which is a form of branding drug dealers use.
The opened packaging from the truck bed and silver duct-taped bundles were seized. The interior of the opened packaged bundles from the truck bed were tested for the presence of narcotics, and the results tested positive for methamphetamine.
Solano was arrested and transported to the Brazos County Detention Center. The stolen truck was recovered and placed in evidence – as it also contained components of other stolen vehicles, which is still under further investigation. Once the investigations are finished, the truck will be returned to its rightful owner.
The duct-taped bundles from the paper sack under the rear seat were opened. Under the layer of duct-tape were additional layers of “food saver” vacuum-sealed bags. This layer was cut open – revealing numerous stacks of U.S. currency rubber-banded together in $2,000 bundles of $5, $10, and $20 bills – which is typical of narcotic transactions. The amount of U.S. currency totaled $73,200.
The vehicle, currency, the narcotic positive “bundles”, and other items were seized as evidence. Solano was charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle – a State-Jail Felony – and Money Laundering 30,000<150,000 – a Third Degree Felony. Other charges are pending based on further investigations.