|Cumby officer’s stop leads to 31 pounds of marijuana inside secret compartment|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Dec. 21, 2006 - Cumby Police and state troopers arrested two out-of-state individuals, including a day care teacher, after finding 21 bundles of marijuana in their minivan.
Eric D. Abrams, 26, of Englewood, Ohio, was arrested for possession of 31 pounds of marijuana. A 19-year-old WeCare Daycare teacher in Richmond, Ind., was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after a usable amount of marijuana and burned "roaches" were found in her purse.
Both remained in the county jail just before noon Thursday. Bond was set at $20,000 for Abrams on the felony possession charge.
Cumby Police Officer Charlie Walker, while on routine patrol, became suspicious of the pair after seeing the vehicle they were in pull into the parking lot of Fast Mart Beverage Store on the south interstate service road at 12:14 a.m. Thursday, at time when the business was closed.
He was especially suspicious because they didn’t pull in near the gas pumps, which would have given cause for their stop.
While speaking with the pair, he received conflicting stories regarding where they had been, their reason for being in the area and other travel itinerary. Walker called for assistance after learning Abrams, the driver, had an extensive criminal history which included drug trafficking and weapons offenses.
Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers David Reynolds and Brandon Stribling arrived to assist. After obtaining consent, the officers began searching the Oldsmobile Silhouette. They found five vacuum-sealed plastic bags of marijuana in a comforter in the van. They then began a more extensive search,with Reynolds locating a hidden compartment beneath the luggage area of the vehicle spanning from the rear bumper to the middle of the van. More vacuum sealed packages were seen in the compartment.
The two were taken into custody and the vehicle taken to the sheriff’s department. Hopkins County Sheriff’s Cpl. Eddie Moon ran drug dog Jack around the car, with the dog alerting on the bumper where the compartment began. The officers recovered 16 additional packages of marijuana from the compartment.
Abrams was charged with felony possession of more than 5 pounds but less than 50 pounds of marijuana after claiming ownership of the 21 bundles of marijuana.
The passenger was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia after the marijuana was found in her purse.
Officers were in the process of filing paperwork to seize the minivan. The bundles of pot were taken to the police station, where they weighed in at 31 pounds.