On Aug. 17, members of the STOP the Offender Program Special Crimes Unit conducted a covert investigation that led to the distribution location of a major marijuana trafficking organization operating in Johnson County.

Through covert surveillance and a well-timed traffic stop of a vehicle leaving the suspect location, STOP SCU agents were able to confirm a location was being used to distribute marijuana.

The traffic stop was made several miles away from the suspect location and subsequent investigation revealed the driver of the vehicle had left the suspect location after purchasing more than 60 pounds of marijuana.

“The suspect location being used to distribute the marijuana is a two-bay workshop located in the 1500 block of County Road 810, near the community of Egan,” a sheriff’s office spokesman said.

Upon confirming the distribution location, STOP SCU agents contacted the Burleson Police Department tactical team and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office for assistance. At about 8:30 p.m., deputies and SCU agents began infiltrating the area and surrounded the backside of the site. The Burleson tactical team then drove straight up the driveway to the front of the building.

“The tactical team members rapidly deployed and chased down three persons who fled on foot,” a spokesman said. “One of the subjects ran into the building, where he was arrested in close proximity to a massive pile of marijuana that was laid out on the floor.”

Detained at the scene and later arrested were Ricardo Jiminez, 33, Cesor Rios, 45, both of Johnson County, and Adam R. Contreras, 27, of Fort Worth.

“Upon securing the site, the SCU obtained a search warrant and conducted a detailed search of the location, which revealed about 170 pounds of marijuana that was being weighed out and sorted into piles to be distributed to different customers,” the spokesman said, noting that agents also located $37,374 in cash that represented the proceeds of drug sales for that day.

“A large portion of the currency was found in a bag tossed into the weeds next to the building,” the spokesman said. “Agents believe that one of the suspects tossed the cash upon seeing the Burleson tactical team coming up the long driveway.”

The currency and three vehicles at the scene were seized by the STOP SCU and will be subject to forfeiture proceedings.

All three men were booked into the Johnson County Law Enforcement Center on charges of possession of marijuana over 50 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds, a second-degree felony. Bonds for the men were set at $75,000 each.