APD makes 20 pound meth bust, suspect in custody

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Austin police officers put a dent in the meth trade. They made a bust they say is valued at a quarter of a million dollars. It happened Tuesday morning just off I-35.

It was like any other day for Austin police officers patrolling I-35, until they pulled over a GMC Envoy for a routine traffic stop.

“She was acting a little erratic. Her story she was giving was a little far-fetched and didn't make sense to him,” said Lieut. Frank Dixon, Austin Police Department.

That's when officers got consent to search 37-year-old suspect Claudia Gonzales' car. Inside they found 20 pounds of methamphetamine, intricately placed. Police say pending purity testing, it looks to be valued at $250,000.

“They were placed inside of PVC pipes, they were then fed inside a false compartment in the gas tank of the vehicle,” said Dixon.

Police say Gonzales was not alone. She had an 18-year-old man and two children in the car with her. Police say she is from Laredo and probably did not know the magnitude of what she was doing. Lieutenant Dixon says these kinds of situations are common.

“They'll be sent to a particular place in a city or over in Mexico, they'll be told to pick up a car, they don't know what they're transporting,” said Dixon.

The drug war could just be beginning. Just last week, police seized nine kilograms of cocaine, in the same fashion

“The officers end up getting into  the car through consent or the use of a search warrant and we're recovering more and more of these,” said Dixon.

The two children in the car were released to Child Protective Services. The other adult has not been charged. Those who lived in Austin are just glad the police are trying to keep the streets clean.

“We don't want our citizenry out there addicted to methamphetamine or any other drugs,” said Dixon.

Lieutenant Dixon also says meth can be a gateway to committing other crimes. Getting rid of the drugs now could possibly prevent future petty crimes.

Claudia Gonzales faces a state charge of possession with intent to deliver which is a first degree felony. Federal charges could be possible.