On Wednesday February 25, 2014 jurors in the 221st District Court found James Thomas Jones II guilty of Possession of a Controlled Substance (over 400 grams of cocaine) and Possession of Marijuana (50-2,000 pounds). Assistant District Attorneys Rob Freyer and Amanda Petroff called five witnesses from the Texas Department of Public Safety regarding their involvement in a narcotics investigation which took place on April 19, 2013 at the Greyhound Bus Station located at 931 South Frazier in Conroe.
Trooper Brian Ihnen, Agent Josh Pullen, and Lieutenant Kyle Matheson testified they conducted a narcotics location at the bus station, at which time Lieutenant Matheson and Trooper Ihnen and his narcotics K-9 “Femke” approached the defendant. They observed three new suitcases which drew the K-9’s immediate interest and led them to believe that the defendant was in possession of contraband. Ihnen testified that after his K-9 alerted in the area where the defendant was standing, he conducted a pat down of the defendant and discovered a baggie of marijuana in his pocket. Matheson testified that he and Ihnen then took the defendant into custody for the marijuana in his pocket and a search of the defendant’s luggage incident to his arrest discovered one kilogram of cocaine in the defendant’s backpack and nearly 75 pounds of marijuana in his suitcases. Agent Josh Pullen testified that he discovered that the defendant had purchased a one-way bus ticket to Meridian, Mississippi via Tyler, Texas, used an assumed name when he purchased the ticket, and a search of the defendant’s cell phone revealed that he had been in constant contact with other drug dealing suspects in Mississippi.
During punishment, the State put on evidence that the defendant had a prior 2008 prison trip in Mississippi for aggravated assault and three assault convictions in 2003 in North Carolina. The defendant testified and minimized his role in this offense. After hearing the evidence, Judge Lisa Michalk assessed his punishment at 35 years in prison.
“The efforts of Ihnen, Pullen, and Matheson in their investigation in this case should be commended,” stated Rob Freyer, Chief Prosecutor, Major Offenders. “It was their hard work that prevented narcotics with a street value of over $200,000 from making its way out into the community. We appreciate the hard work of the jurors in this case as well, and we know well that these strong verdicts don’t happen without their assistance.”