Four people from the Houston area have been arrested after a joint investigation into drug distribution in Angelina County.
According to DPS Spokesman David Hendry, on Aug. 6 at at approximately 11:02 p.m., Lufkin DPS Narcotics conducted a joint investigation with the Angelina County Sheriff's Department, Angelina County Constables Office Pct. 3, and the Zavalla Police Department, into allegations of the distribution of narcotics in the Zavalla area.
Marco Hernandez, Rolando Corrales and Ramiro Zuniga were all charged with possession of a controlled substance between 200-400 grams. Vanessa Gonzalez was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Gonzalez, Corrales and Zuniga had bonds set at $100,000. Hernandez received a $102,500 bond. Hendry said DPS seized approximately three-fourths of a pound of crystal methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $29,000.
"Basically It's a war on drugs out here," Zavalla Police Chief Steve Drumm said. "Zavalla is kind of in a back woods recreational area so it is attractive for that."
According to Hendry, special Agents reported that during an interview with the suspects, they learned the contraband was being transported from Houston and was destined for Zavalla for distribution.
"We were on this for about a week," Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches said. "We are not done yet, this is still a work in progress."
Special Agents also reported that this case is part of an ongoing investigation into the transportation and delivery of narcotics into the southern part of Angelina County with the main focus being on Zavalla.
"It is in the south, but we also have these problems in the north part of the county," Sanches said.
Sanches said it does not surprise him that the drugs are in the area considering Zavalla being located on the Highway 69 corridor and being right next to the Highway 59 corridor.
"This area does have drug traffic and we have seen that over the recent time period," Sanches said. "In Polk County we've seen that where drug cartel was involved about a year ago on a large marijuana field they have planted."
Sanches said this is a warning that the county is taking the drug issue serious.
"We're not through," Sanches said. "We will never be through and we're coming after them. We want those drug dealers to realize we are serious about this."
"This does take time," Drumm said. "We have to do the investigation to make sure we have everything before we do the arrest, but we are getting them. It is my number one goal."
Hendry said additional arrests are expected in the future.