Detectives had their work cut out at the Wiggins Ridge Subdivision.
CrimeStoppers Tips Leads to Hotbed of Marijuana, LIVINGSTON, June 20, 2009 - On June 13, 2009, the Polk County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Division responded to a CrimeStoppers tip about possible drug activity off of FM-2457 less than a mile from US-190 West. The tip led to the home of Terry and Lawrence Barnett on 321 Prewitt in the Wiggins Ridge Subdivision. Intelligence suggested that the residence had an indoor hydroponic marijuana growing operation. When narcotics detective Randy Turner knocked on their door, they refused to answer.
Three days later, detectives returned to the area acting on another CrimeStoppers tip about a large quantity of marijuana that had been received in the mail. Upon arrival at the small trailer park, detectives could smell the distinct smell of burnt marijuana. Lieutenant Andy Lowrie and Deputy Chris Lima came in contact with Melissa Ann Mason who was standing near her vehicle at a nearby residence. Upon searching the vehicle and her residence, marijuana was found and Mason was cited for possession of marijuana.
In the meantime, Detective Randy Turner arrived at the original residence in question. When Turner arrived he observed two men exiting the small travel trailer, the two men, Toribio Quintero Jr., 32, of McAllen, and Fabian Lupe Montez, 26, of Livingston both wreaked of burnt marijuana. Both men admitted that they had been smoking but refused to give detectives consent to search the trailer. No problem, a search warrant was obtained. When detectives executed the search, 4 1/2 Lbs. of marijuana was found inside. Quintero and Montez were placed under arrest for felony possession of marijuana and taken to Polk County Jail and booked in. While on the scene, detectives were advised once again that the Barnetts had an indoor marijuana growing operation. Informants further stated that the marijuana had been pulled up since the original visit from detectives 3 days earlier.
Toribio Quintero, 26, of McAllen was arrested for felony possession of marijuana.
Fabian Lupe Montez, 26, of Livingston was arrested for felony possession of marijuana.
"Special Delivery": Nearly 5 Lbs. of marijuana sent through mail to Quintero and Montez.
Montez and Quitero were found in possession of the Postal Pot in this travel trailer.
Narcotics detectives once again went to the Barnett residence and were met at the gate by Mrs. Terry Barnett. Barnett and her husband Lawrence gave consent to search this time. During the search, Detective Turner located a locked shed. When the Barnetts were pressed to open the shed, they suddenly became un-cooperative. A search warrant was obtained and the shed was opened. The shed served as a housing for a hydroponic growing operation complete with growing lights and foil lined walls. During the search marijuana was located inside the shed, and more marijuana was found inside the Barnett's mobile home. The Barnetts insisted that they grew tomatoes and squash (in a locked shed). According to Lowrie, evidence suggests that marijuana was being cultivated in the hydroponic setup. Terry and Lawrence Barnett were booked into Polk County Jail for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Terry Barnett, 53, of Livingston was arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernelia.
Lawrence Barnett, 53, of Livingston was arrested for possession of marijuan and drug paraphernelia.
Hydroponic growing operation with special lights and aluminum lined walls. According to witnesses, marijuana was pulled out 3 days prior to this discovery.
Special lights used for hydroponic growth.
Detectives dismantle the hydroponic shed.
Marijuana found in the residence.
More evidence: marijuana and a laptop computer.
Curtis Lee Norvell, 39, of Livingston.
Finally, another tip from an informant led narcotics detectives to another trailer in the small trailer park (the trailer park is owned by the Barnetts). Upon arrival detectives spoke with Curtis Lee Norvell, the 39 year old maintenance man for the Barnetts. Norvell gave deputy Chris Lima consent to search his trailer. During the search, marijuana was found and prescription medication was found that wasn't prescribed to Norvell. Norvell was arrested and booked into Polk County Jail for possession of marijuana and possession of a dangerous drug.
Lieutenant Andy Lowrie specializes in narcotics investigations. Lowrie was quick to give praise to people who called in to Crime Stoppers and gave tips that led to the apprehension of these suspects. Lowrie stated that all tips are taken seriously and encourages people to call in when they suspect illegal drug activity. He did caution that sometimes just because a tip is given, it may not be enough to cause an arrest.
PolkCountyToday.com wishes to thank Lieutenant Andy Lowrie and his narcotics team for their constant efforts to track down illegal drugs in our County and for his cooperation with us in this story.
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