A routine traffic stop on Aug. 23 in Cleveland led to the arrest of two people and the discovery of a large amount of crystal methamphetamine inside their vehicle, according to Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader.
The Liberty County Sheriff’s Criminal Interdiction Unit initiated a traffic stop around 10:30 p.m. of a silver Chevrolet Impala in the parking lot of a Valero gas station, located at the intersection of US 59 at SH 105.
“Both of the occupants appeared to be nervous when the deputy made contact with them,” Rader said.
The driver is identified at Jose Alverto Beltran, 26, of Houston. With Beltran was his girlfriend, 24-year-old Jazmin Mendez, also of Houston.
“During the stop, the deputy had reason to believe that the occupants were involved in criminal activity. Consent to search the vehicle was requested from the driver. Deputies were denied consent.
A trained narcotics K-9 was brought to the scene to conduct a “free air sniff” of the vehicle’s exteriors. The K-9 reportedly gave a positive alert to the odor of narcotics inside the vehicle and a probable cause search was conducted of the vehicle.
Inside the vehicle, deputies reportedly found a large shopping bag on the back floorboard that contained a large Ziploc-style bag containing 100 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine, along with a Glock 9 mm semi-auto handgun and 14 separate red-colored “Mexican candy” bags holding suspected crystal meth. Deputies also reportedly found a vacuum-sealed bag holding marijuana.
According to the sheriff, the marijuana was found next to the couple’s 3-year-old child. The child was released later to a family member while the parents were arrested.
Beltran and Mendez were transported to the Liberty County Jail on charges of Manufacture and Delivery of a Controlled Substance. Bond for each is set at $100,000.