A routine traffic stop conducted by the Texas DPS in Carson County led to a vehicle search that resulted in finding 13 pounds of cocaine stashed away in a spare tire.

According to documents filed with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas Amarillo Division, the event took place on August 9th after a state trooper in Carson County pulled over a 2021 Hyundai that was traveling west on I-40. The vehicle had been traveling in the left lane without passing any vehicles, a violation of the Texas transportation code (you might recall seeing those pesky signs posted along the highway warning you about this). Strike one.

As the trooper came up behind the Hyundai and activated his lights, the driver moved over to the right-hand lane and passed a vehicle pulled over on the shoulder with its emergency lights flashing. If you recall the recent law passed that requires drivers to either move over or slow down if a vehicle is pulled over and flashing its emergency lights--you already know that this was strike two for the Hyundai.

Randall County Sheriff Office
Randall County Sheriff Office

When the Hyundai was pulled over, the driver was identified as Carina Gladys Alvarado and her passenger as Martin Gonzalez. As the trooper made contact with the two, he detected the distinct aroma of marijuana emanating from Alvarado, the driver. And that would be strike three.

The trooper then conducted a probable cause search. While rooting through the vehicle, he noticed that the spare tire equipment wasn't bundled up with the spare tire itself. Once he lifted the spare tire cover, he determined that the spare tire itself was not one that would fit the Hyundai and decided to follow his hunch a bit further by cutting into the spare tire.

His hunch paid off, with a reported 6 kg (or 13.2 pounds) of a white powdery substance that later field-tested positive for cocaine located within the tire.

Gonzales and Alvarado were then arrested and booked into Randall County Jail on charges of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With Intent to Distribute Cocaine. Both remain in the jail on a federal hold.

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