A routine early morning call from the Liberty County Sheriff Department’s dispatcher to Deputy Stephanie Nugent regarding an “ Abandoned/Suspicious Vehicle” sitting in the middle of CR 2009 resulted in the felony arrest of RONNIE RAY PRESTON, age 22, a resident of Batson, Texas.
Upon Deputy Nugent’s arrival, she observed a Dodge Dakota sitting in a moving lane of traffic on CR 2009 with the engine running and lights on while the driver, sitting under the steering wheel, was passed out. Extended efforts by the Deputy were finally successful when she managed to awaken the driver. Due to the sweating and apparent altered mental state and lethargic condition of Preston, Deputy Nugent was concerned about his physical condition so she radioed for an ambulance. With assistance from the EMS personnel, Deputy Nugent was able to help Preston out of his vehicle and to the ambulance where he could be evaluated.
It was at this point that Deputy Nugent observed, in open view on the driver’s side of the vehicle, a clear plastic bag containing a crystal type substance which later field tested positive to be methamphetamines.
Ronnie Preston was charged with “ Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance”, a first degree felony, and placed in the Liberty County jail. Preston does have prior arrests on drug charges.