Things That Matter

A Man Spent A Month In Jail After Feds Thought He Was Carrying 3,000 pounds of ‘Marijuana,’ Lab Results Showed It Was Hemp

In what was supposedly a giant drug bust by the Texas Department of Public Safety, led to one giant 3,350-pound mistake.

On Dec. 6, a DPS trooper pulled over and arrested a driver who the agency claimed was carrying multiple boxes that held pounds of marijuana east of Amarillo, Texas along Interstate 40. The trooper called for more backup in the form of DEA agents who thought they had the drug bust of all drug busts. They even took to Facebook to post about the incident that showed that showed dozens of boxes, supposedly stuffed with over 3,000 pounds of marijuana, in front of the U-Haul trailer stopped by authorities. 

The culprit, Florida resident Aneudy Gonzalez, 39, a contract driver who was making a cross country trip from San Jose, California, to New York City. Gonzalez was pulled over by the trooper after he was seen driving on the highway shoulder and that’s when things started getting south. 

Gonzalez was being paid to transport the boxes that the DPS trooper smelled upon inspecting the cargo in the trailer. He suspected it was marijuana after he found pounds of the “green leafy substance” in boxes and black trash bags. 

The boxes, however, didn’t have marijuana in them. Gonzalez was being paid $2,500 to transport boxes of legal hemp from a California farm to a New York company. Yet even after he showed the trooper a lab report that verified the cargo met the state’s new legal definition of hemp, he was still charged with federal drug trafficking charges and placed in jail.

According to the Texas Tribune, A DEA agent testified as being unaware of the state law and was confused by the THC content rules. 

The root of all of this confusion stems from the recently passed HB 1325 that was signed into law by Gov. Abbott in June 2019. The law legalized the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp, as well as allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp under a state-regulated program in Texas. According to the Texas Tribune, “any cannabis with less than that amount of THC is hemp, which is used in products like clothing, twine, protein powder, and CBD oil.”

This is where authorities made the big mistake in not only arresting Gonzalez but also breaking state policy in interfering “with the interstate commerce of hemp”, which is exactly what happened here. According to Gonzalez’s attorney, Adam Tisdell, a cannabis criminal defense lawyer, the lab report that was shown to the trooper was more than enough evidence to let his client go. 

“Especially in a time right now of immense skepticism of law enforcement, the idea that Texas DPS and ultimately, a DEA task force agent, would have no idea what the law is and people go to jail that are completely innocent is horrifying to me and I do believe it should be for the other citizens as well. That’s the moral of this story.” Daniel Mehler, another attorney representing Gonzalez with Tisdell, told KCBD

It took an entire month for Gonzalez to finally be released from jail after authorities finally dismissed the case. He intends to file legal action and sue for violation of his civil rights.  

DPS officials issued a statement that read that the trooper that arrested Gonzalez believed that he was indeed carrying marijuana, not hemp. The agency would then send the confiscated material to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to test for THC levels. The results showed that Gonzalez was indeed carrying hemp and was in compliance with federal law. 

“I was just doing my job and the government threw me in jail for almost a month. I fully intend on pursuing justice, whatever that entails,” Gonzalez told Law 360. “Nobody has apologized to me. Somebody owes me an apology.”

After the test results, federal prosecutors asked a judge a month later to dismiss the case, and Gonzalez was released from jail on Jan. 2, a month after being arrested. That sad part for Gonzalez was that this wasn’t the first time he had been arrested on the trip. He spent a night in jail in Arizona after authorities there also confused his cargo for marijuana. He was eventually released the next day after officials determined it was legal hemp. 

Gonzalez’s case is an example of potential problems that law enforcement may face as hemp legalization spreads across the country, with many not knowing the difference between it and marijuana. In return, Texas has seen a major drop in marijuana prosecutions since hemp became legal. Gonzalez’s lawyer says that police need to be more aware of these new laws and be able to differentiate between the two to avoid situations like this in the future.  

“Today we beat the feds,” Mehler Cannabis, the law firm defending Gonzalez that specializes in marijuana-related laws and litigation, wrote in a Facebook post. “We maintained from the word ‘go’ that all he had was hemp, and this morning the U.S. government moved to dismiss the charges against our client.”

The law firm is seeking the return of the property that was taken from Gonzalez and “just compensation for our client losing a month of his life in the custody.”

READ: A New Florida Law And Lack Of Testing Facilities In The State Means Miami-Dade County Won’t Be Prosecuting Misdemeanor Pot Cases

There Is A Tribute Concert To Selena Planned For This Year And Here

Entertainment

There Is A Tribute Concert To Selena Planned For This Year And Here

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It has been 25 years since Selena Quintanilla was killed by Yolanda Saldívar. Since then, Selena’s fandom has continued to grow as younger generations have discovered her music. In honor of the late singer, a tribute concert is happening on May 9 and here is the information we have so far.

Music is taking a moment to honor Selena with a 25th-year tribute concert.

SelenaXXV is happening at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The concert is bringing together some of the biggest names in Latin music to give fans a night to remember centered around La Reina of Tejano music.

The concert is happening on Saturday, May 9 in San Antonio because texas is the only place to have this concert.

Selena’s place in Latin music history is undeniable. She was the first major Latina musician to start breaking down barriers for future Latino artists to rise in mainstream music. Her crossover songs brought our culture and experience to mainstream music audiences.

Here are a few of the artists you can expect to see at the SelenaXXV concert:

Pitbull

There’s no way you can have a tribute concert to a Latin music legend without Mr. Worldwide. The Cuban musician has spent his career bettering his community and giving Latino representation around the world. Who better to keep the hyped energy for the concert that Pitbull?

Los Tucanes de Tijuana

We are definitely feeling this norteño take on Selena’s classics. The band is wildly popular for their solid and incredible norteño sound and we can only imagine what they will prepare to honor Selena. Mexican legends giving praise to a Mexican-American legend is everything.

Becky G

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Team work make the dream work. 😉🤍

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The Inglewood native already showed her respect and love for Selena during her last concert in Texas. The singer belted out a beautiful rendition of “Dreamin’ of You,” one of Selena’s most famous songs. It just seems like a natural choice to have Becky G back in San Antonio for more Selena tributes.

Ally Brooke

The former Fifth Harmony band member took the stage during the 2019 Miss Universe pageant to sing a medley of Selena’s songs. Fans of the pageant and of Selena were ecstatic that Selena was getting some recognition during one of the biggest pageants in the world.

You can find out all of the details and where to buy tickets to show here.

Who else is buying tickets to see the show?

READ: 25 Years After Her Death, A San Antonio Art Museum Is Displaying Some Never-Before-Seen Photos Of Selena

Becky G Performs Tribute To Selena At San Antonio Concert

Entertainment

Becky G Performs Tribute To Selena At San Antonio Concert

It has been 25 years since Selena Quintanilla was killed by her fan club president Yolanda Saldívar. Despite the time we have spent without La Reina of Tejano music on this earth, her fandom and power continue to grow every day. The proof is in the number of covers and tributes to her and Becky G is now one of the artists.

Becky G used part of her concert at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo venue to honor a Texas great: Selena Quintanilla.

The Inglewood singer followed a playbook that many artists have used when playing in Texas but giving Selena a little bit of love. It has become a tradition for artists to do special renditions of Selena’s hits when they are performing at a Texas venue.

The Texas audience was muy excited when Becky G began to sing “Dreamin’ of You.”

Several artists who have passed through Texas have taken a moment in their concert to cover a Selena song. Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, and Camila Cabello all sang Selena music during their Texas concerts last year and the effort was super appreciated by Texas fans.

Even fans who couldn’t go to the concert are sharing their love and appreciation for the performance.

Legit, Becky G did that in San Antonio. Selena holds a very important place in musical history and even more important place in the hearts of Latino music lovers. She was the first big recognition Latinos had in the music world, especially with her English crossover.

Good job keeping Selena’s legacy alive, Becky G.

It has been 25 years since Selena was killed by her fan club president Yolanda Saldívar. In the 25 years, Selena’s star has continued to grow. She continues to win music awards because of ho much Latinos love her music and what she represented. She recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was immortalized with a wax figure by Madame Tussauds.

READ: Watch Kacey Musgraves Sing In Spanish Covering Selena’s ‘Como La Flor’ In Texas