Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

August 26, 2012

Traffic stop leads to major drug bust

By CHRIS AGEE | cagee@mineralwellsindex.com

As part of a coordinated effort by the Department of Public Safety, a traffic stop conducted Tuesday along Interstate 20 in Palo Pinto County led to the seizure of 128 pounds of marijuana and nearly $10,000 in cash.

“This was a DPS project called ‘Rolling Thunder,’ and what it was about was stepping up enforcement for three days, [Aug.] 21, 22, and 23, for trucks, because it’s been so dangerous here in Texas,” said DPS Public Information Officer Gary Rozzell.

Troopers were looking for hazardous violations, he said, and “additional troopers were assigned to work in the same areas to help work regular traffic.”

One of the supplementary troopers, Nick Hill, came from Denton to assist in the project and was working in the westbound lanes of I-20 in the western-most portion of the county when he stopped a 2007 Chevrolet pickup driven by Efren Barboza-Lopez, 29, of Fort Worth.

Rozzell said Hill initiated the traffic stop around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, based on the fact that Barboza-Lopez was not driving in a single lane and failed to signal a lane change.

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