MARBLE FALLS — The arrest this week of a Marble Falls man on marijuana-trafficking charges marks the third time in a month police used bait-and-switch tactics to put suspects behind bars. Robert Walker, 27, remained in the Burnet County Jail Friday following his arrest Feb. 24 on charges of delivery of a controlled substance. A bond amount was unavailable.
The arrest capped a month-long investigation into a drug trafficking ring, according to police Capt. Floyd Goodwin.
“(A man) was a trafficker,” Goodwin told The Daily Tribune. “He was scoring (marijuana) out of Austin and bringing it back here and selling it.”
During the arrest, police seized 2 pounds of marijuana, a 2003 Cadillac and an AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle, Goodwin said.
“We seized the car because it was used in the commission of a crime,” he said. “The rifle was in the car when we seized it.”
During the investigation, police were able to set up a marijuana purchase and made the arrest during the transaction.
Police arrested three men Feb. 10 during a similar sting after the group tried to sell officers methamphetamines, Goodwin said.
Charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance were 40-year-old Austin resident Chris Romero, 29-year-old Cedar Park resident Cory Blake Parnell and 38-year-old Bastrop County resident Adam Scott Puckett.
All three men remain behind bars in lieu of posting a $55,000 bond, according to jail records.
A fifth man was arrested Feb. 17 and charged with attempting to sell officers 6 pounds of marijuana during another “buy/bust” sting.
David James Jaimes Jr., 24, was charged with delivery of marijuana, according to Burnet County sheriff’s Capt. Dwight Hardin.
During that bust, police arrested a man after he tried to sell them drugs at a Marble Falls residence, Hardin said.
All three of the stings took place in Marble Falls and included officers from the Police Department, the Burnet sheriff’s Special Operations Unit and the Texas Department of Public Safety, Goodwin said.
Such operations, though rare, are an important part of officers’ crime-fighting arsenal, he said. Even so, having three in one month is relatively rare, Goodwin said.
“It depends on the information you have available and the case you can make,” he said.
Hardin said earlier that having police involved in the drug purchase provides a stronger case for prosecutors during trial.
“We like to set up buys between subjects and our officers, of course, because that makes it a lot better for prosecution,” he said.
Delivery of less than 5 pounds of marijuana is a state-jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000.