ITALY — A tip passed along to the Italy Police Department on Friday, June 15, led to the discovery of more than 12 kilograms of cocaine in a car traveling on I-35E.

At around 7:56 p.m., an Italy police officer and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) conducted a traffic stop on a white 1999 Lincoln Town car.

“We had received information earlier about the vehicle and passed on the information to surrounding agencies,” Italy Police Chief Diron Hill said. “When the vehicle reached the Italy city limits, one of our officers and a DPS Trooper located and stopped the vehicle and after a brief search, located the package of cocaine hidden in the vehicle.”

The driver was identified as Raul Robles, 32, and the passenger was Maria Ness, 54. Both were arrested on possession of controlled substance 1 gram greater than or equal to 400 grams, a felony I charge. The two suspects were taken to Wayne McCollum Detention Center in Waxahachie and were given a bond of  $30,000 each.

Hill was extremely pleased with this find.

“Getting this much illegal drugs off the streets is a great win for law enforcement and will hit the pocket books of local drug dealers,” Hill said. “The amount of cocaine that was seized has a street value of around $250,000.”

Hill added that law enforcement officers must work together to win the war on the illegal drug trade.

“The Italy Police Department has always had a cooperative working relationship with the Texas Department of Public Safety,” Hill said. “We rely on each other to service the southern part of Ellis County on the I-35E corridor. Information sharing is also very important in the battle against crime. In the end, it is not who gets them – it’s simply that ‘we did’ get them.”

Contact Colleen at 469-517-1452 or