Police Chief Joe Treviño said Patrolman John Berry was called to the jail at 5:55 that morning after the suspect, Christopher Patrick Clarkson, showed up to ask for a place to stay.
Deputies were all out on calls at the time so the dispatcher at the Bee County Sheriff’s Office called the Beeville Police Department.
What Clarkson apparently forgot was that no one is allowed to occupy a jail cell without first being searched.
As soon as Berry started looking through the suspect’s clothing, he began finding contraband, including heroin and a weapon.
The officer confiscated 73.5 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 17.5 grams of heroin and a number of pills for which Clarkson had no prescription.
Berry also found a large knife in the man’s boot.
Clarkson told the staff at the jail that he was on foot and had hitched a ride to Beeville. He said he had no idea who had given him the ride.
Treviño said the suspect told the jail staff that he had been told he could report to the county jail and he would be allowed to stay there until he was sober enough to leave.
Clarkson now faces five felony charges, including a first degree felony charge of delivery of a controlled substance.
A conviction on that charge could result in a life sentence with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Institutional Division and a $10,000 fine.
Clarkson also faces a second degree felony charge of possession of a controlled substance, four to 200 grams. If convicted, the defendant could spend 20 years in prison and pay a $10,000 fine.
The suspect also is charged with two third degree felony charges of possession of a controlled substance, one to four grams, and possession of a prohibited substance in a correctional facility.
A conviction on either of those charges could result in a 10-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.
Clarkson also was charged with possession of a deadly weapon, another third degree felony charge.
According to authorities at the sheriff’s office, bonds on those charges came to a total of $7,000.
But paying those bonds will not get the suspect out of jail. He also is being held on a parole violation warrant. Parole violators are not allowed to post bond.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.