These Saturday morning arrests were spearheaded by George West Police Det. Sgt. Samantha Gray and Police Det. Libby Shelton and executed by all 11 of the department’s officers, reports show.
The intelligence that led to the arrests came as part of “a general narcotics operation,” Gray said.
Modesto Cruz Saldana, 51, was taken into custody at 209 Travis Street after an early Saturday warrant search during which authorities seized $700 in cash, 10 grams of cocaine, less than two ounces of marijuana and various drug packaging materials, Det. Sgt. Gray said.
The residence at which Saldana was alleged to have been selling is located two blocks from George West Primary School, 405 Travis Street, Gray said.
Saldana was arrested on suspicion of first-degree possession of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone; and three additional varying counts of possessions of a controlled substance, all third degree felonies.
Saldana also was arrested on suspicion of a fifth possession of a controlled substance charge, also a third degree felony, once jail officers found more narcotics on his person after he was booked into jail.
Saldana was released Sunday evening after making $120,000 bond, according to George West Jail Sgt. Laura R. Ramos. The phone number he listed in police reports has been disconnected, and he could not be reached to comment Monday.
Also arrested during the 209 Travis warrant search was Carol Lynn Martinez, 52, on suspicion of two, third-degree felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. She also was released Sunday after making $50,000 bond, Sgt. Ramos said.
Martinez did not answer the phone when a reporter tried to contact her for comment Monday.
George West Police Chief Rey Garcia said one of the most notable aspects of the Saldano case is that he is alleged to have told officers he sells marijuana to minors—with permission from the parents.
“It’s interesting that he had the parents permission to sell it,” the chief said.
The chief said he was told these parents would rather their children smoke marijuana than K-2, synthetic marijuana. Recently outlawed by the Texas Legislature, K-2 is believed to be more dangerous, more expensive and harder to prosecute.
Meanwhile, in the other Saturday morning arrest, Porfirio “Pilo” Garcia, 72, was apprehended at 107 Fannin Street after he was found to be in possession of 1.2 grams of cocaine, less than ounces of marijuana, some baggies and digital scales, reports show.
Garcia was arrested on suspicion of manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, a second degree felony; unlawful possession of a firearm, a third degree felony; two counts of possession of a controlled substance, a state jail felony; and possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor.
Garcia was released Sunday after making $50,500 bond, jail records show.
A Monday phone call seeking comment from Garcia was unsuccessful. Someone picked up the phone on his end then hung it up again.