ZEPHYR — Tyler Wylie passed on buying a 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe that traveled from an Austin auction to Zephyr when he learned the SUV had a stowaway: a nearly 5-pound brick of marijuana, stashed in a hidden compartment under the vehicle’s floorboard.
    That killed the sale.
    Wylie works at Frontier Paint and Body in Zephyr, and the owners of the business, Torrey McClain and John Vasquez, recently bought the SUV at an Austin auction, Wylie explained. The men brought the car back to their business so they could begin preparing to resell it, and Wylie was interested.
    But he noticed something wasn’t quite right about the carpet on the middle-seat floorboard. An investigation revealed that a compartment had been cut into the floorboard under the carpet, and the men discovered the brick of marijuana that weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces.
    Sheriff’s narcotics investigator Carlyle Gover told the rest of the story.
    Gover received a phone call on Dec. 20 from Department of Public Safety trooper John Moody, a former sheriff’s deputy. Moody lives in Zephyr and had been told about the marijuana.  “You want some dope?” Moody asked Gover.
    Gover took possession of the marijuana, placed it in the sheriff’s office’s evidence room and began making phone calls.
    Gover learned the origin of the marijuana.
    An agency close to the Mexico border seized 167 pounds of marijuana out of the SUV in June, but somehow missed one of the bricks and left it in the floorboard compartment. “I don’t fault them for missing it,” Gover said, declining to name the agency.
    “That’s straight-out-of-Mexico dope,” Gover said, estimating its street value at $2,000.
    After investigators with that agency were finished with the vehicle, it was repossessed and ended up at the auction — and later, in Zephyr.
    Gover said he spoke with a representative of the agency that seized the marijuana, and the agency doesn’t want the brick back. Gover said he will destroy the marijuana.
    The Tahoe, meanwhile, has been returned to the auction that sold it to McClain and Vasquez, Tyler said.