EARLY — Police said Fernando Perez told them he didn’t feel good about making a trip to Early around 4 a.m. Sunday.
But he told officers he’d wanted to make some money to buy his wife a birthday present, police said. He was arrested on a drug charge after, police alleged, he showed up to sell 2 grams of methamphetamine to a man named Jacob — who turned out to be Early police detective Shawn Dibrell.
Dibrell played the part of a methamphetamine customer after Early officers made a traffic stop and arrested the car’s two occupants on drug charges. Perez’ name surfaced during the traffic stop, police said.
Police seized $452 from Perez, who lives in Brownwood and told “Jacob” he’d have to charge him an extra $10 for traveling to Early, police said.
Monday Perez, 22, remained in the Brown County Jail on a charge of manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, jail records state.
Cesar Olguin, 21, of Brownwood, arrested in the traffic stop, remained jailed on a charge of possession of a controlled substance.
Aubry Clevenger, 24, of Santa Anna, also arrested in the traffic stop, remained jailed on a charge of possession of a controlled substance.
Early Police Chief David Mercer said Dibrell called him at home and asked for clearance to proceed with trying to set up a deal with Perez.
“He ran it by me to see if it was OK, and I told him ‘you bet. Go for it,’” Mercer said. “Shawn’s just got a knack for being able to do these things. He’s a good asset to the department. I’m blessed with a lot of good officers in this department.”
Several Early officers and a Brown County Sheriff’s deputy participated in the morning’s activities, Mercer said.
A report by officer Johnny Brown described the allegations against Perez, Clevenger and Olguin, beginning with the events that preceded the traffic stop.
At 1:28 a.m. Sunday, Brown assisted Dibrell and patrolman Nathan Land on an “investigative stop” of a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix after “suspicious activity.”
All three officers, who were in separate vehicles, saw the car leave the Classic Inn Motel, 607 Early Blvd., travel east and turn left onto Williams Street. The street is a dead end, the the car turned around, went back onto Early Boulevard and continued east.
Criminal activities commonly occur in the late night hours and involve local motels, Brown’s report states.
The car turned onto a dirt road in the 4900 block of U.S. Highway 377, drove behind a business and suddenly gained speed in an attempt to leave the area.
Land turned on his emergency lights and stopped the car, which was occupied by Olguin and Clevenger. Officers found methamphetamine and arrested the two, and officers were told that one of them had bought methamphetamine from a man in Brownwood named Fernando.
Dibrell decided to try to buy methamphetamine from “Fernando” after obtaining a phone number. Dibrell called the number at 3:51 a.m. and got an answer.
Dibrell said his name was Jacob. He said he thought the methamphetamine from the traffic stop was “some good (expletive),” he wanted to “score” some and money was no problem.
They set up a deal for the man named Fernando to bring the drugs to the Classic Inn and sell it to Dibrell for $100 a gram. Dibrell told the other officers the seller would be arriving in a green Dodge car.
With the two suspects from the Grand Prix taken to jail, officers including Means, the sheriff’s deputy, began setting up for a “buy-bust.” They stayed in contact with Dibrell, who was in an unmarked vehicle, by cell phone.
The man named Fernando — Perez — called Dibrell, who had Olguin’s cell phone, and asked to speak to Olguin. Dibrell replied that Olguin was in a room at the Classic Inn with Clevenger and Dibrell was locked out.
Brown heard Dibrell beating on something that sounded as though he was beating on a door and yelling for Cesar to open the door. Dibrell told Perez that Cesar wouldn’t answer the door.
Perez hung up and tried to call Clevenger, but one of the Early officers — Land — had Clevenger’s phone and didn’t answer it.
Perez called Dibrell back at 4:12 a.m. and said he’d be there shortly. Officers began staging near the Classic Inn, blacked out their cars and approached Perez’ vehicle as he arrived. Officers stopped he car and approached with guns drawn.
“Perez appeared to be in shock and voluntarily began confirming why he was at the Classic Inn,” Brown’s report states. “He was very cooperative and said he was there to sell 2 grams of methamphetamine and when he saw cops he tried to push the methamphetamine out the window.”
Officers found methamphetamine on the ground near the car and inside the vehicle.
Mercer said he is proud of his officers.
“You get out and work. You find stuff. The guys get out and they dig and they work. They look further than just a traffic stop. It just takes digging and staying with it.
“I’m really proud of all of them. They did really good. They all understand that I have a zero tolerance for drug enforcement. They’re cops because they want to be cops and they want to get out there and work.”