Nine individuals arrested, including two juveniles

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

A brick home with green shrubs, a well-maintained lawn with a carport in a nice neighborhood was a front for the distribution of drugs and illegal activities, Police Chief Danny Bueno said.

"It appears to be a distribution center (for drugs)," Bueno said. "They have cameras in the interior and exterior of the house."

The Task Force joint effort, which included the Alice Police Department and the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department, surprised several individuals inside the 1200 block of Highland Avenue about 5 p.m. Thursday with a "no knock" entrance to the home.

Nine individuals were arrested, including two juveniles and a family member who stopped by and police said interfered with the investigation. All of the people in the house were men.

Those arrested were Adrian Solano, 17, Jason Garces, 24, Jose Montez, 20, all from Alice, Manuel Montes, 47, from Donna, and Adan Rodriguez, 22 and Noel Ruelas, 22, both from Edinburg. All were taken to the Jim Wells County jail and were released on a surety bond of $5,000 each, officers said. They face charges of possession of marijuana over four ounces, under five pounds. The family member, Elva Garza, was also arrested and charged with assault on a public servant.

The juveniles were released to their parents.

Those arrested were handcuffed and waited in front of the house as the task force searched the home. Law officers confiscated at least $11,000, a brick of marijuana and a high-powered rifle, Bueno said. A safety box which was pried open contained money along with a camera and other items.

Officers said the house was equipped with state-of-art technology.

The task force, which includes the SWAT team, has been investigating this case for six months.

Bueno said the task force will continue to fight illegal activities both in the city and in the county.

"Rain or shine, we are going to do whatever we can to disrupt drug activity in the community and the county," Bueno said.