It’s well-known that drug abuse can happen anywhere, but trafficking and major seizures by enforcement officials are reputed to occur more often in the big cities or at least major suburbs — certainly not a small town in remote central Texas. But that’s exactly what happened in Belton, the county seat of Bell County, nestled on the freeway between Austin and Waco.
In late December, it was reported that Terrell Koontz, 37, was arrested with a massive stockpile of guns and drugs in his possession. How did the arrest go down, and what exactly was Koontz busted with? Read on to find out.
How It Went Down
After getting a tip about Koontz, Bell County law enforcement planned a raid of his property, getting a warrant and executing it on December 17, 2018. The plan turned out to be well worth it. After a thorough search of the man’s residence, the haul was done and the results were sizable. Authorities found over $41,000 worth of illegal narcotics, clearly packaged for smuggling and selling, which will likely result in charges for possession with intent to sell.
Additionally, over $3,800 in cash and 29 firearms were seized from the property: a variety of pistols and handguns, along with several rifles and shotguns as well.
The Contents of the Bust
Unlike some other drug busts, the contents of the $41,000 stockpile were varied, and some of the drugs were those enforcement officials (especially those focused on shutting down smuggling rings) may have been surprised about:
- 2,800 tablets (suspected ecstasy): Ecstasy is unique because it’s rarely one substance. Ecstasy, sometimes known as MDMA or molly, can be a mix of substances in pill or powder form, making it more dangerous because the user often is consuming something they don’t know the composition of.
- 3,500 Xanax pills: Xanax is a popular benzodiazepine, used and abused by people all over the world for its relaxing effect. Interestingly, Xanax has seen an uptick in abuse by teens in both the United States and the UK in recent years.
- 7 pounds of marijuana: Marijuana trafficking is nothing new and may be the only thing officials would’ve been expecting about this bust.
- Cocaine: Cocaine is another drug that is commonly trafficked, but recently the need to crack down on people who move cocaine has become even more urgent as street dealers and manufacturers are commonly adding fentanyl to the cocaine they sell. The DEA recently released guidance about being aware of the presence of fentanyl in cocaine-based substances.
- Psychedelic mushrooms: “Magic mushrooms” refer to a group of around 200 different types of mushrooms containing the chemical psilocybin, which is known to make the user experience hallucinations when consumed.
- THCV: Very few people have heard of THCV — not until recently, when marijuana and its many chemical components have been more deeply understood, has it been isolated as it was in this case. THCV stands for tetrahydrocannabivarin and is a cousin of the most widely known chemical in cannabis, THC. THCV is psychoactive, and some even say it produces a much stronger high than THC.
The high-level view of the contents of this particular seizure is that they were intended for a major party-drug market. All of the narcotics involved, including ecstasy, psychoactive mushrooms and Xanax, are popular in party and club settings.
The unexpected haul from this bust shows why, even in smaller towns, officers need to be aware of the drugs commonly used around them to get a feel for how these illicit substances are being supplied.
If you know anything about drug use or trafficking in your community, please do your part to combat this public health crisis and let local officers know. If you or a loved one are struggling with drug abuse, contact the Florida House Experience today.