The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office took two men into custody on drug-related charges after a Dec. 9 traffic stop on Interstate 35E at the Hill County line.

Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown made the initial stop and smelled marijuana after approaching the vehicle, which was occupied by two males.

According to a press release issued by the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, as backup was en route to the location, the driver was placed under arrest for no driver license and no insurance and put into handcuffs.

As the second individual was being secured, the driver took off on foot toward a wooded area. An off-duty Austin PD officer stopped to assist and additional backup arrived, including the ECSO’s canine officer. The driver was apprehended a short time later by the canine without further incident.

Usable amounts of marijuana were located in the vehicle and on the driver, the release stated.

The driver was identified as Francisco Javier Hernandez, 20, of Dallas. The passenger was identified as Michael Alexander Nunez, 22, of Killeen. Both were transported to Wayne McCollum Detention Center.

Hernandez was booked in on a third-degree felony charge of escape when arrested ($25,000 bond), a misdemeanor B charge of possession of marijuana Under 2 Ounces ($1,000 bond) and a class C misdemeanor charge of no driver license ($200 fine). Hernandez also is being held on warrants out of Dallas County, including a first-degree felony charge of aggravated robbery ($300,000 bond) and a misdemeanor charge of evading arrest ($1,000).

Nunez was booked in on a class B misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana under 2 Ounces ($1,000).