A Beeville man could be looking at a lengthy prison sentence after officials say he was found in possession of narcotics.

Bee County Sheriff Alden Southmayd said that at noon Jan. 26, rookie Deputy Juan Gallegos received a call about a suspicious male walking around in a residential area off Farm-to-Market Road 673 just outside the Beeville city limits.

“He was walking around, and he was carrying a butcher knife,” Southmayd said.

Gallegos, who the sheriff said joined the sheriff’s office just three months ago and had only been patrolling on his own for about six weeks, responded and located the man at one of the houses. The man was identified as 23-year-old Joe Morin. 

After speaking with Morin, Gallegos – who was assisted by fellow Deputy Lupe Munoz and Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jared Williams – came to suspect that Morin might be under the influence of a controlled substance and possibly conducting other criminal activity in the area, Southmayd said.

“He claimed to know someone who lived there, but the neighbor didn’t know him,” the sheriff said.

Morin, who was found to have an active arrest warrant charging him with family violence, admitted to Gallegos that he was in possession of marijuana. Southmayd said the deputy searched Morin and found various drugs on his person and in his backpack, including marijuana, drug paraphernalia and 22 grams of methamphetamine.

Deputies arrested Morin and transported him to the Bee County Jail where, in addition to his arrest warrant, Morin was booked on charges of manufacture and delivery of 4-200 grams of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1 and possession of marijuana.

Morin’s methamphetamine charge is a first-degree felony. According to the Texas Penal Code, Morin, if convicted, faces a term of life or 5-99 years in prison.

While Southmayd commends Gallegos for his quick response and for utilizing the skills he learned during his recent field training, the sheriff also credits the vigilant neighbors who called the sheriff’s office upon seeing Morin. Southmayd urged anyone who witnesses suspicious activity to call the sheriff’s office at 361-362-3221.

Those wishing to remain anonymous may call Coastal Bend Crime Stoppers at 361-362-0206. If an arrest results from a Crime Stoppers call, tipsters may qualify for a cash reward. 

wgibbs@mysoutex.com

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