Police: False report leads to huge dope bust at reportee’s home

WEST MONTGOMERY COUNTY- A reported aggravated kidnapping in Magnolia evolved into a 270 pound marijuana bust for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in a bizarre overnight case.

MCSO Det. Mike Landrum, who was on-scene throughout the night, said deputies were dispatched to the shooting and kidnapping of an adult male in the 29600 block of Aden around 8:40 p.m. on Sunday. It turns out, the victim who was shot in the arm, was not kidnapped. Christina Tapia Barrera, 36, told deputies three armed men forced their way into her home, then assaulted her husband and threatened her before taking her husband from the residence against his will. Family members later told investigators the 30-year-old fled in his own vehicle to hide from his assailants, Landrum said.

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It appears the wound was superficial, Landrum said, but his condition could not be verified as of 5 a.m. on Monday, since the victim’s whereabouts were still unknown. Witnesses stated the gunmen went to the home looking for the victim, a confrontation and shooting occurred and then the gunmen and the victim fled in unknown directions. Investigators contacted area hospitals, but none of them had treated the victim and none of his family members have reported hearing from him as of this writing.

Landrum said investigators suspect the shooting was drug related since further investigation with the assistance of members of the MCSO Special Investigations Unit at the home overnight uncovered approximately 280 pounds of marijuana. A Monday morning MCSO press release stated deputies initially discovered three 20 pound packages of marijuana in the backyard of the home, and then after SIU and MCSO Major Crimes Detectives arrived, the remaining amount was discovered inside the home, separated into 10 bundles.

Christina Tapia Barrera, 36, was arrested and charged with second-degree felony possession of marijuana.

The victim is among several generations of his family living in the Magnolia home, Landrum said.

Witness descriptions of the gunmen are vague at best. They are described as three to four white males in a black pickup.

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