A Houston man facing charges of drug possession and money laundering in Wichita County told police his mom gave him $4,012 in cash discovered on him during a traffic stop, court documents show.
Another Houston man told police the marijuana-infused green tea stowed in the vehicle’s trunk with other contraband was for his grandma, according to court records.
Fernando Rodriguez-Cantu, 24, was indicted Dec. 19 on money laundering from $2,500 to $30,000, a state-jail felony, court documents showed.
He was previously indicted Aug. 2 on possession of 4 to 400 grams of THC, a second-degree felony, according to court records.
THC is tetrahydrocannabinol, a substance in marijuana that makes a person feel high.
Rodriguez-Cantu was free Thursday from Wichita County Jail on a $100,000 bond for the drug possession charge, according to online jail records. No bond was listed for the money laundering charge.
If convicted, he faces up to 22 years imprisonment and $20,000 in fines.
Codefendant Michael Anthony Samano pleaded guilty July 25 in 89th District Court to possession of over 400 grams of THC and money laundering from $1,500 to $20,000, according to court documents.
Samano, 30, was sentenced to five years of probation, court documents show.
The drug possession charge is a first degree felony punishable by up to life in prison. The money laundering charge is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years of confinement.
Probable cause affidavits gave this account: On Nov. 9, 2017, an Electra police officer observed a gray Hyundai Sonata doing 86 mph in a 75 mph zone going southbound on U.S. Highway 287.
He pulled the car over in the 600 block of the 287 west access road. A search of the vehicle driven by Samano revealed contraband edibles, wax and tea.
The items included 11 containers of West Edison cannabis concentrates, one container of TR Concentrate, five containers of Craft Shatter-OG Kush, one container of Watermelon Blast Gummies, eight containers of Infinite Wax, four containers of Pot-Rox, and one container of Gentle Green Tea — „contains Marihuana.”
Officers discovered about $4,000 cash, which Samano claimed was his, inside the Sonata’s middle console.
He told police he was a „high roller” truck operator and brought cash to Colorado to have a „good time.”
A search of Rodriguez-Cantu revealed that he had about $4,012 in cash, which was not in his wallet.
He told police he was an unemployed student whose mother gave him the money.
Both men had cellphones on them. Officers found a third cell in the driver’s side door by Samano. He said didn’t know it was there.
Rodriguez-Cantu said the same about a fourth cell in the floorboard of the front passenger’s seat where he sat. Both were arrested and taken to the Electra Police Department.
The total weight of all the contraband was 1,705.1 grams. Items tested were positive for THC. An officer transported the two men to Wichita County Jail to be booked in.
A male nurse asked the officer what kind of drugs Samano and Rodriguez-Cantu had. The officer told the nurse, adding he had never heard of the marijuana-infused tea.
„Well, that was for my grandma,” Samano said.
A Texas ranger later obtained a search warrant for the four cellphones.
Downloaded information from them showed cash, bricks of a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine and a substance believed to be weed.
Text messages showed the use of code words indicating requests for drug deliveries from Samano and Rodriguez-Cantu.
Trish Choate, enterprise watchdog reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news, politics and more. She loves getting news tips. If you have a good one, contact Trish at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Twitter handle is @Trishapedia.