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Couple arrested following Hardin County drug bust
HARDIN COUNTY- by Haley Bull
A couple is in jail following a drug bust in Hardin County. Investigators found nearly 14 oz. of cocaine, more than 25 lb. of marijuana and almost $2,000 in cash.
"It could have done a lot of damage if it had gotten out on the street," Hardin County Sgt. Charles Daigle said. "This is one of the biggest narcotics busts."
The find was the result of a two-month long investigation by the Hardin County Sheriff's Office. Overnight Thursday, it led law enforcement officers to a trailer off Hwy. 96 North, just north of Silsbee. Investigators said it was the home of Ricardo Gonzalez, 31, and his girlfriend, Jocelyn Martinez, 18.
"He was very cooperative and nice. He did allow us into his home and not only did he allow us into his home, he actually pointed out areas where he had hidden illegal narcotics in his house," Vincent said.
Investigators also found a pistol-like firearm and revolver.
"When questioned on why he had guns, he simply stated because I'm a dope dealer," Vincent said. "One room of the residence is strictly set up for nothing but the repackaging of illegal narcotics. He had shelves set up, he had tables set up, he had ice chests full of weed where he was taking the weed and cutting the weed on the table. There was Ziploc bags where he was bagging it and a digital scale where he was weighing it. He also had a similar set up for his cocaine."
Investigators said the narcotics had a street value of up to $75,000.
Officers arrested both Gonzalez and Martinez.
"He is a key player in the Silsbee area. He's a key player in the Hardin County area in the whole as far as marijuana goes," Vincent said.
Gonzalez and Martinez are each charged with possession of marijuana and manufactured delivery of a controlled substance with the intent to sell.
"His arrest and apprehension, taking this product away from him, taking it off the streets," Vincent said, "We know that it's not gonna stop, but this will put a dent in the marijuana sales in Hardin County."
The county's drug market could be slowed for now, but the bust highlights illegal narcotics in the area.
"It indicates that there's still a lot of drugs coming through Hardin County it's just a matter of us being vigilant," Daigle said. "You're not gonna catch everybody, but we're gonna catch the ones that we can."
The Sheriff's Department has a zero-tolerance policy towards illegal narcotics, an effort to keep the drugs off the streets and dealers behind bars.