Reported abduction leads to drug arrests; more than $44,000 seized

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Oct 23, 2007 - A call of a suspected abduction Monday night ultimately resulted in the alleged victim and “kidnapper” going to jail on felony drug charges and the seizure of more than $44,000 in cash.

Sulphur Springs police received a report of a possible kidnapping about 11:20 p.m.  Officers were told a woman had been taken by a Hispanic male in a maroon Ford Explorer.

Hopkins County sheriff’s deputies were advised to be on the lookout for the vehicle, as it was believed to be headed to a residence outside the city limits.

Deputies patrolling the area spotted the sport utility vehicle on County Road 1441, and deputy Chris Rich stopped the car, separating the two occupants to speak to them individually. Sgt. Todd Evans and Deputy Jeff Santos also arrived to assist Rich.

The driver was identified as 26-year-old Miguel Angel Moctezuma of Yantis, the suspect in the alleged abduction. The passenger was identified as Paula Torres Garcia, 37, of Sulphur Springs, the alleged victim.

Delta County Sheriff’s Deputy Rojelio Reyes Jr. was contacted for assistance as an interpreter as the woman indicated she did not speak English. Garcia told the Delta County officer that she was with Moctezuma willingly and was not in danger. The pair indicated to officers they were on their way to pick up their children.

While talking to them, deputies observed what appeared to be a pipe, similart used with methamphetamine, in the console. A continued search of the car by Evans turned up a “hide-a-key” containing two small bags holding a small amount of what is believed to be “ice” methamphetamine and cocaine, Investigator Lewis Tatum said Tuesday morning.

Both Garcia and Moctezuma were taken to jail on two controlled substance charges. Moctezuma was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

At the jail, while Evans was shackling Garcia’s leg, he found a .38-caliber pistol strapped to her leg in a holster. Both were then also charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon.

Deputies also noted the two had $44,036 in their possession. The money was seized, and sheriff’s office anticipate filing paperwork to have the fund forfeited to officials as suspected drug money, Sheriff’s Investigator Jace Anglin said Tuesday morning.

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