The first traffic stop was on July 18. Meakins said he pulled over a man in a 1997 truck for “obstructed license plate view.”
“The driver was extremely nervous and was trying to separate himself from the vehicle,” Meakins said.
The driver did not have a license so Meakins took his ID and when he ran it, it came back that he had a warrant for an assault charge in Hidalgo County.
Meakins placed him under arrest and asked to search his vehicle.
“He had a tool box that didn’t look right,” Meakins said.
The officer said that there was a gap between the headache rack and box that didn’t seem right and there was a piece of metal covering the space. Other things about the tool box also didn’t seem right.
“When I opened the tool box the depth inside didn’t match the depth outside,” Meakins said.
He said he knocked on the bottom of the box and it made a solid sound. He then took a drill and drilled into the bottom of the box and the drill came back out with marijuana on it.
Eventually 137 pounds of marijuana were removed from the tool box and the covered space between the box and the headache rack.
The man who was driving the truck told Meakins that the marijuana was not his and he didn’t know it was there. The truck was his friend’s truck and he was driving from the Valley to Austin.
He was charged with possession of marijuana greater than 50 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds.
The second traffic stop took place on July 25.
Meakins said he pulled the vehicle over because it had defective taillights. When he put his brakes on, the backup lights came on instead.
When Meakins spoke with the man he was “very nervous” and had no ID, no insurance and paper tags out of Louisiana.
He told Meakins he was on his way to San Antonio to visit his 11-year-old daughter.
Meakins ran the name that the man gave him and nothing came up. He also ran the vehicle number and it came back registered to someone else.
Meakins asked to search the vehicle. Upon searching, Meakins said he found marijuana under the back rest of the passenger seat, under the rear seats, in the back quarter panels of the doors and in the back doors. He located 157 pounds in all. The marijuana was wrapped in dryer sheets to try and mask the smell.
He was taken to jail and charged with possession of marijuana greater than 50 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds.
The two drug busts had some similarities. Meakins said that both traffic stops took place “just before midnight” and both men “from the get-go were nervous and stuttering.”
He said that training and experience were able to help him realize the two traffic stops were not ordinary.
“All of the flags that you were taught to look for clicked,” he said.
On both stops, Meakins was assisted by several officers. On the first stop he was assisted by DPS Trooper Raul Garcia, Cpl. George Medina of George West and officer Joseph Shelton from Live Oak County.
At the second stop he was assisted by Cpl. Medina, Sgt. Jason Lee and rookie officer Samantha Alexander.
He is grateful to all officers who came to assist him.
Meakins has been in law enforcement for more than 12 years. He worked for 10 years in Bee County before coming to George West three years ago. He currently works as the resource officer for the school district and only patrols on holidays and during the summer.
He said he is looking forward to returning to the school in a couple more weeks.