Police confiscate drugs, firearm

By Kati Walker
News Editor
Levelland police officers recovered more than 20 grams of methamphetamine this week after three traffic stops within the City of Levelland.
“It’s about getting drugs and people who facilitate the drugs off the street,” said Captain Tammie McDonald. “It’s our job to deter crime and to protect the public.”
Officer Mateo Lopez recovered 14.36 grams of methamphetamine and eight ounces of marijuana after a traffic stop Thursday night.
Ernest Chavez, 26, of Levelland, was charged with manufacture delivery of a controlled substance more than four grams and less than 200 grams, a first degree felony, and possession of marijuana more than four ounces, less than five pounds, a state jail felony.
Lopez said the charge was upgraded from possession of a controlled substance to manufacture delivery because the activity was consistent with narcotics delivery.
“It was more than personal use,” Lopez said. “They were transporting a quantity consistent with drug sales.”
In a separate incident, Kace Donahue, patrol officer, recovered 3.9 grams of methamphetamine, a firearm and a small amount of marijuana. 
Rebecca Ann Garza, 23, of Levelland was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance more than one gram in a drug free zone and possession of marijuana less than two ounces.
The driver of the vehicle, Jesus Manuel Rodriguez, 24, of Levelland, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance less than one gram in a drug free zone and unlawfully carrying a firearm.
Monday, Officer Lopez recovered 4.47 grams of methamphetamine after a traffic stop at 3:50 p.m. in the 900 block of 1st Street. William Travis Payne, 41, of Levelland, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance between four and 200 grams.
McDonald said the department is focusing resources back on narcotics and protecting the community from the crime it imposes on the community.
“Each town has their own thing going on, too,” McDonald said. “The one thing each town has in common is that the drugs lead to most of the crimes that are committed, like thefts, burglaries, robberies and sometimes assault.”

 Read full story in this weekend’s edition of the News-Press

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