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Houston Police Department

Traffic Stop Yields a Lot More Than Heads of Lettuce

February 23, 2011 - A routine traffic stop and truck inspection by a Houston police officer on Sunday night (Feb. 21) of an 18-wheeler supposedly carrying just a load of lettuce resulted in a large drug bust with nearly one ton of marijuana on board.

The seizure of 1,995 pounds of marijuana led to the arrest of the truck's driver and lone occupant, Paulino Guerra (H/m, DOB: 8-11-74). He is charged with felony possession of marijuana in the 174th State District Court.

Guerra's truck was stopped in the 13400 block of the East Freeway (East Interstate Highway 10) near Market Street about 4:45 p.m. on Sunday. The seized marijuana was packed in numerous bundles and has an estimated street value of $3.1 million. Other boxes on the truck were filled with lettuce.

Photos of the recovered bundles of marijuana are attached to this news release.

Photo 1 Photo 2

Suspect Hernandez was linked to two sexual assaults via DNA evidence as a result of the victims' rape kits. He is accused of breaking into his victims' apartments and sexually assaulting them. The first assault took place on October 16, 2010 and the second on November 18, 2010, at the same apartment complex on Town Park.

Suspect Soto is accused of picking up his victim and offering her a ride. He then drove the victim to a second location where he sexually assaulted her. He then drove her to a third location and forced her out of the vehicle. He was later linked to the crime through DNA testing of the victim's rape kit.

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.