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North Texas Traffic Stop Uncovers 60 Pounds of Meth

meth
Transparent plastic bag with white powder looks like crystal meth. | Image by Linggakun/Shutterstock

A major drug bust was made in Collin County earlier this week during a routine traffic stop.

Jesus Maldonado Peralta, a Houston resident, was pulled over while driving on U.S. 75 on August 22. He subsequently consented to a search of his vehicle, according to a press release issued by the Collin County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday.

The search allegedly yielded several bags of methamphetamine, with law enforcement ultimately seizing approximately 60 pounds in total from the suspect’s vehicle. Peralta was arrested and charged with “Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 1, involving 400 grams or more.”

He was booked into the Collin County Detention Facility in McKinney and is being held on a bond of $1.25 million.

The smuggling of illicit drugs like meth or cocaine across the southern border has been on the rise. A report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) took note of a 9% uptick in drug seizures between June and July. CBP has also logged a year-over-year increase in the amount of fentanyl seized — over 23,700 pounds in FY 2023 compared to 10,500 pounds in FY 2022.

The highly addictive substance has been fueling an addiction epidemic in Texas, with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services estimating that as many as five Texans die per day from overdoses.

In Dallas, drug-related crime rates remain high, with 6,691 such reported offenses logged so far in 2023, a year-over-year increase of 7.6%, according to the City of Dallas Open Data crime overview dashboard.

The Dallas Police Department has been severely understaffed for some time now. There are currently only around 3,100 police officers in the department, roughly 900 short of the 4,000 recommended by a City report.

As reported by The Dallas Express, the staffing issue has led to significant increases in police response times over the last few months.

The issue has exacerbated crime in Downtown Dallas, which regularly logs higher rates than Fort Worth’s downtown area. The latter is reportedly patrolled by a dedicated police unit that works alongside private security guards.

The recent bust in Collin County was made possible through a multi-agency initiative launched between Collin, Grayson, Hunt, Parker, Rockwall, Smith, Tarrant, and Wise Counties in 2018.

The North Texas Sheriffs’ Criminal Interdiction Unit was formed to intercept attempts to smuggle illicit drugs across the region. It was the first of its kind both in Texas and the United States.

“If you’re involved in narcotics or human trafficking through North Texas, you need to know we are coming for you,” Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner, head of the unit, said at the time, according to the Texas Scorecard.

In response to the recent arrest of Peralta, Skinner gave credit to the counties’ partnership and commitment to “fight against the deadly drug cartels who cross our southern border with impunity and peddle their poisonous fentanyl and methamphetamines across America.”

He noted in the press release that the unit had already seized tons of drugs since its creation and would continue to do so in service of the community.

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