ABILENE, Texas - A reckless driver led Abilene police to $1.6 million dollars worth of marijuana Christmas Day.
Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge told KTXS several people reported the driver's recklessness on Interstate 20 around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. Since the investigation is in its early stages, Standridge said he could not reveal the driver's identity at this time; however, he did tell KTXS she is a 48-year-old Caucasian female.
Standridge said she was driving a rented Toyota SUV when police contacted her and approximately 182 pounds of hydroponic marijuana were found in the vehicle along with approximately two grams of methamphetamine.
"She disclosed that she was under the influence of methamphetamine and so the patrol officers perceived that she was under medical duress," Standridge said. "So she was actually transported to a local hospital where she underwent significant treatment. I believe at a time, she may have even been in the ICU."
Standridge said the woman is not from Abilene and he does not believe the city was the intended destination for the marijuana. Hydroponic marijuana is grown via water and nutrients rather than soil.
"Anybody transporting 182 pounds of hydroponic marijuana with a street value of $1.6 million knows they are clearly violating both state and federal laws," Standridge said. "Hydroponic marijuana is very valuable in the fact that it has tremendous THC content. Consequently, it's very potent, so my suggestion is this is going to be perceived as a very dangerous felony."
As of Thursday, no arrests have been made due to the investigation's early stages and evidence still being packaged. Standridge said agents with APD's Special Operations Division will work with the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security to prosecute the case.