Nearly 600 pounds of marijuana found in horse trailer

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter
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VICTORIA COUNTY, Texas - An unsafe lane change led to the discovery of nearly 600 pounds of marijuana stashed in a horse trailer headed to Houston, according to officials with the Victoria County Sheriff's Office.

The discovery was made in January, but a federal criminal complaint was not filed against the driver of the truck towing the trailer until March. Documents filed in federal court read Gustabo Ochoa Torres was initially stopped by a Victoria County sheriff's deputy after making an unsafe lane change on Highway 59. Court records read the deputy became suspicious of Torres' reasons for heading to Houston. Court records show Torres then gave the deputy permission to search the trailer.

The federal complaint shows the deputy's K-9, "Rocky," alerted to the possible smell of drugs in the trailer, which contained two horses. The deputy suspected a false compartment had been built into the trailer's tack/dressing room, according to court documents. Federal agents wrote the deputy then drilled through the trailer's wall and "discovered wheel bearing grease and evidence of marijuana on the drill bit."

Court documents read the deputy discovered 88 bundles of marijuana, weighing nearly 600 pounds, hidden in the trailer's compartment. Agents wrote Torres then told them he picked up the truck and the trailer in the parking lot of Greenspoint Mall before driving to a motel in Rio Grande City. Court documents read Torres said someone picked up the truck and trailer from the motel's parking lot and returned it the following day with two horses.

According to the criminal complaint Torres told federal agents, "he knew he was smuggling marijuana but did not know the quantity." Agents wrote Torres also told them "he was to be paid $15,000 for the trip." Court documents also read Torres explained the trip was arranged by a man named "Tony" he met at a pool hall in the Spring area.

Torres is accused of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.

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