AUSTIN (KXAN) — A tip from Denver police to Austin police in April lead them to a man who police say was transporting large amounts of hash oil across state lines.
According to an arrest affidavit, when 35-year-old Stuart Spruiell stepped off the plane at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on April 3, police say they checked his bag and found two plastic sealed packages of what appeared to be Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) oil. Authorities later determined the packages contained 64.25 grams of THC.
When detectives originally received the tip from Denver authorities, they said Spruiell would be carrying the drugs on his carry-on baggage and that the items would be concealed in candy boxes, continued in the affidavit.
After searching his bag and discovering $9,000 in cash on him, Spruiell gave police consent to search his home where police said they found “heat sealers with drugs and other packaging material.”
Police charged Sprueill with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a first degree felony.
The arrest comes after Austin Police Department reported earlier this year seizing more marijuana with ties to places where it is grown legally. The department’s Organized Crime Division seized 580 pounds of marijuana in 2014, more than twice much as the year before, according to APD data.
“We have seen a good number of cases where people who are legally licensed to grow marijuana in California will use that license to start exporting their marijuana outside of California,” said Austin Police Lt. Frank Dixon in a February interview with KXAN News.
In June, Lt. Pat Connor with the Austin Police Department’s Organized Crime Division said his officers were confiscating more THC oil and edibles, such as candies and foods. However, an APD spokesperson said Wednesday that narcotics investigators are seeing marijuana in leaf form and they have not seen much pot coming in from Colorado.
“The fact of the matter is that there is a market for marijuana in Texas,” said said Heather Fazio with the Marijuana Policy Project, who favors a legal market for marijuana in Texas. “People are getting it people are using it, regardless of what the laws are.”