Drug Stash Uncovered in DFW Traffic Stop


A stock photo of a policewoman performing a traffic stop | Image by Kindel Media/Pexels.

Police officers discovered a large collection of narcotics during what was meant to be a routine traffic stop.

A deputy on patrol had pulled over a white Toyota Tacoma towing a U-Haul trailer, according to Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin in a Facebook post on January 21.

The vehicle was traveling south down U.S. 81/287 between Alvord and Decatur at about 2 p.m. on January 17. The deputy pulled the vehicle over after witnessing the vehicle swerving and traveling on the road’s rumble strips.

Akin said that the driver, 29-year-old Suradit Paketthong, had behaved “exceedingly nervous” when the vehicle was stopped. Paketthong, who was traveling with 66-year-old Ares Boonhome, allegedly claimed that he was driving to a funeral in Southeast Texas and that Boonhome was his grandmother.

Boonhome, however, allegedly told the officer that she and her son were traveling to Tennessee and that the trailer was full of furniture, conflicting with the driver’s story.

“The driver and passenger gave conflicting stories, so a K9 unit was close by and K9 Benni walked around the trailer and alerted, giving probable cause to open up the trailer,” said Akin, according to the Wise County Messenger.

Officers opened the trailer and, instead of finding furniture, found 31 moving boxes sealed with packing tape. Inside these packages, officers discovered 840 pounds of marijuana, two and a half pounds of THC vape cartridges, and 242 pounds of candy bars infused with psilocybin mushrooms.

Akin estimated the over half-ton of drugs discovered to be worth $1.7 million.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers had previously seized more than $18.6 million in methamphetamine on the southern border in November 2022, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Akin told The Dallas Express that this was the biggest drug bust the department has had for several years.

“We had [found] several pounds of methamphetamine, but it wasn’t near the $1.7 million,” said Akin.

Paketthong and Boonhome were subsequently arrested and jailed on January 18 on multiple charges of possession of controlled substances, with bond set at $70,000 each.

Wise County Jail records indicate the pair were released on bail the same day.

The Wise County bust continues a recent trend of major drug trafficking incidents across the Lone Star State, including in the metroplex. Federal authorities recently arrested 25 alleged drug traffickers in Dallas in a bust dubbed “Operation Papercheck Fresh” in September 2022, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Drug crimes are up 9.5% in Dallas year-to-date, according to data from the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard. The total annual number of drug crimes in the city, meanwhile, spiked by nearly 32% between 2020 and 2022, as the city council and other elected officials shifted attention away from law enforcement.

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