We've been over this before, but it bears repeating: If you’re dealing in illegal pot, Texas is somewhere you should avoid. Gabriel Campbell, 29, learned that the hard way this week when cops in Brownwood, Texas,about two hours northwest of Austin, arrested him with a large cache of cannabis during a traffic stop.
According to the Brownwood Bulletin, Campbell was targeted by cops in heavy traffic after what would seem to be a very a minor violation: stopping past the white line at a red light. Officers weren’t able to stop him at the scene of the infraction, so they followed him around the city for a few minutes before pulling him over blocks away.
It’s unclear whether Campbell had Colorado plates on his car, but this scenario fits with the way Colorado drivers have been profiled and pulled over by out-of-state law enforcers for minor infractions they’d usually overlook.
Cops say they asked Campbell if he had anything illegal in the car, and he said no. They asked if they could search his car, and he again said no.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Then they ran his ID. Turns out Campbell was wanted in Colorado on a charge of cultivating more than thirty marijuana plants – a felony that carries a penalty of between two and six years in jail and up to $500,000 in fines. That was all police say they needed to arrest Campbell for extradition to Colorado – and to search his car.
That’s when they discovered another surprise: a hefty stash of marijuana. They said the trunk reeked of pot and that inside they found a box with five bags of marijuana, two cell phones, a camera and a computer. The pot itself weighed five pounds, but police tacked on the additional weight of the bags, bringing the total to 5.6 pounds. Campbell was arrested on the Colorado charges as well as delivery of marijuana over five pounds and sent to the Brown County Jail for processing. As for the traffic violation? Campbell was only issued a warning. The judge set his bond at $50,000.
Campbell will be sent back to Colorado at some point to answer for his grow charges, but probably not any time soon. Delivery of between five and fifty pounds is a felony in Texas, carrying a punishment of up to twenty years in jail and as much as a $10,000 in fines. The arresting officer chose to charge Campbell with the more serious delivery of cannabis as opposed to possession of cannabis, which has a maximum jail time of ten years. Both charges carry a mandatory two-year minimum jail stay.