The Runnels County Sheriff’s Office is on a winning streak lately. Two weeks ago deputy Clemente’ “Tito” Mata nabbed a serial burglar who had stolen thousands of dollars in equipment that included a John Deere tractor, a John Deere Gator, a stolen trailer loaded with stolen furniture along with other stolen property. Now the sheriff’s office and Winters police department have taken down a drug dealer in Ballinger.
On February 16th, after a 6-month joint investigation, Runnels County sheriff deputies and Winters police officers served a narcotics search warrant the home located at 806 N. 18th street in Ballinger.
Two officers with the Ballinger police department assisted in the search of the residence.
Runnels County sheriff’s deputies arrested Juan Avila of Ballinger and charged him with 5 offenses. Avila already has at least one felony conviction.
The deputies and officers located ½ lbs of methamphetamine, a stolen handgun, one set of ballistic body armor, a small amount of marijuana and scales and packaging materials for the distribution of narcotics. The meth has an estimated street value of approximately $10,000.
The charges against so far include;
Possession of a Controlled Substance (Penalty group 1), 1st degree felony, bond set at $150,000.
Unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, 3rd degree felony, bond set at $15,000.
Unlawful possession of body armor by a felon, 3rd degree felony, bond set at $20,000.
Tampering with an identification number (handgun), Class A misdemeanor, bond set at $4,000.
Possession of marijuana, Class B misdemeanor, bond set at $2,000.
In all Avila has over $200,000 in bonds so far and more charges may come later.
Due to the investigation being on-going and federal agents now looking at the case there are few details available. Runnels County Sheriff Carl Squyers did say that the methamphetamine was not being manufactured at the home. Other details such as how the Winters PD and the sheriff’s office obtained the information about the narcotics and what they did to obtain the search warrant were not revealed. Squyers also wouldn’t say if other people were at the residence when they served the warrant.