A traffic violation by a 46-year-old man on Monday on the Frontage Road of Expressway 83 resulted in a stop where Mission police found nearly 44 pounds of fentanyl inside a hidden compartment in a blue Chrysler minivan with Mexican license plates.
An officer in an unmarked unit saw Francisco Jesus Robles cut across three lanes without signaling on the Frontage Road in the 2400 block of east Expressway 83 that day at around 3 p.m., according to a probable cause affidavit.
That officer aired out a radio message to a patrol unit to conduct a traffic stop while relaying the vehicle’s location, the document said.
The patrol officer pulled Robles over at 2410 E. Expressway 83.
During the stop, police say Robles admitted to the traffic violation and as his hand “was extremely shaking,” he provided his identification card, according to the affidavit, which also said this prompted the officer to ask the man if everything was OK.
That affidavit doesn’t say how Robles responded, but indicates the officer asked him whether there was anything illegal in the minivan, which he denied.
According to the charging document, Robles gave police consent to search the vehicle and the officer requested a K-9 unit, which alerted to drugs in the minivan’s cargo area.
The officer searching the vehicle noticed a “brown plastic package concealed in between the floor board and carpet in a hidden compartment,” the affidavit stated.
According to that document, the officer noticed a “clear powdery substance” in the package and arrested Robles.
On Tuesday, police executed a search warrant on the vehicle and discovered 18 brown packages containing approximately 43.9 pounds of fentanyl.
On Friday, Chief Cesar Torres said the fentanyl had an estimated value of more than $600,000.
Robles remains jailed in the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center on a $500,000 bond for possession of a controlled substance charge.
Staff Writer Xavier Alvarez contributed to this report.