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Ton of pot
by Tim Delaney, Progress Editor
Oct 24, 2012 | 1962 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Contributed photo
Mannequin heads with wigs were supposed to give the impression this school bus was full of children. Instead, the bus was full of marijuana – Almost a ton and a half of it – discovered during a pot bust south of Tilden on state Highway 16 in McMullen County on Friday, Oct. 19.
Contributed photo Mannequin heads with wigs were supposed to give the impression this school bus was full of children. Instead, the bus was full of marijuana – Almost a ton and a half of it – discovered during a pot bust south of Tilden on state Highway 16 in McMullen County on Friday, Oct. 19.
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TILDEN — After a search by a Department of Public Safety helicopter, a man was found and arrested Friday, Oct. 19, for possession of marijuana about 10 miles south of Tilden on state Highway 16.

The call came in at 4 p.m. to Live Oak County dispatchers.

McMullen County chief deputy Emmett Shelton said the man was driving a school bus and was stopped by DPS Trooper Clint Walker during a routine traffic stop.

The bus was a 2006 International and had Laredo ISD on its side.

Walker ran a check on its license plate, and it came back as a canceled license plate and registered to Rio Grande City ISD.

The school bus had dark tinted windows, so it was hard to see that the figures in the bus seats were mannequin heads – complete with wigs – propped up with cardboard.

The driver of the bus, Carlos Ortiz Bravo, 53, of Mexico, jumped out of the bus and ran into the nearby brush, leaving the bus in neutral.

The bus rolled back into the trooper’s vehicle.

Once at the scene, a DPS helicopter quickly spotted the man about 300 yards out in the brush, lying on the ground.

“The guy was cooperative after we found him,” Shelton said.

“The chopper pilot did a tremendous job finding him,” Shelton said.

All the seats in the bus had been taken out and a platform above the floor of the bus was built. Under that platform was 2,772 pounds of marijuana.

“A subsequent search found that the bus had been completely modified,” said DPS public information officer Charlie Ramirez.

Ramirez said the pot’s street value was $1.108 million.

He added that the bus Bravo was driving came from Laredo and was headed to Houston.

Bravo was arrested and incarcerated in the Live Oak County Jail.

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