North Brownwood resident Lynn Franklin bought a used sport utility vehicle recently that came with an option he hadn’t bargained for — 37 pounds of marijuana.
“It’s a good thing I didn’t get stopped with it,” said Franklin, 52, who works for the Brownwood Housing Authority and at Mary’s Place restaurant.
“I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet.
Franklin called the police after finding some of the marijuana in the SUV Sunday morning while trying to repair a window that wouldn’t roll down. Police found the rest — 35 bricks in all, stuffed behind the panels of all four doors, Brownwood narcotics detective Bruce Spruill said.
Police seized the marijuana, which would sell for about $500 a pound locally — or about $18,500 total — Spruill said. He said police have talked with some suspects but no arrests have been made, and an investigation continues.
The 2002 Chevy Blazer was repossessed 10 months ago and sat on a car lot until Franklin bought in on May 5, Spruill said. Police believe the marijuana was placed in the vehicle 10 to 12 months ago, he said.
Friends sat near Franklin Tuesday at a table at Mary’s Place as he recounted the story. He said he bought the Blazer from the local car lot, which he declined to name. The power window on the driver’s passenger door wouldn’t roll down, Franklin said.
Around 8 a.m. Sunday morning, he repaired a dent in the door and decided to try to repair the window. He removed the door panel and saw four of the bricks in the bottom of the door. Surprised, Franklin pulled them out.
His first thought: “Drugs!”
“I didn’t know if it was marijuana or hash or whatever it was,” Franklin said.
Franklin spoke with his wife, Tracy, and then called 9-1-1 and told a dispatcher what he’d found.
While waiting for the police to arrive, Franklin called Mary Graves, owner of Mary’s place, and told her about the drugs.
“That was my first to see any kind of drugs,” Graves said.
“Her excitement is coffee,” Franklin said.
Police began arriving around 8:30 a.m. — Sgt. Mitch Slaymaker, Cpl. Kenyon Black and patrolman Mike Clark. The officers began pulling out the bricks.
“I was surprised initially. I was going into shock after the 11th one,” Franklin said. “You see it on TV all the time but you never think it’s going to happen to you.”
Spruill said police don’t know the marijuana’s origin or intended destination.
He said the marijuana bricks had been taped in place inside the doors, but the tape in one of the doors came loose. That allowed the bricks to fall out of place, and that’s why the window wouldn’t work, Spruill said.
The owner of that amount of marijuana would be “a pretty large scale distributor,” Spruill said. “Typically that amount of marijuana would be sold to other distributors. It would be used to supply street level dealers.”
Franklin, meanwhile, has returned the Blazer to the car lot that sold it to him. The company returned his deposit.
I just keep thinking about it. I know somebody’s going to come looking for (the marijuana),” Franklin said.