Five arrested at Starr Co. problem stash house

The Starr County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force arrested five people Tuesday night at a well-known stash house compound in Rio Grande City known to locals as "Cano's."

"We've had four seizures in the past three months at this house on Jesus Martin Lane," HIDTA Investigator Ismael Guerra said.

Countless drug busts, property seizures and arrests have not stopped the family that lives at the house compound from allegedly trafficking drugs.

Now authorities are hoping the saga will soon end.

Celica Garcia, Maria Adelita Benitez, Rodolfo Alvarez, Hortencia Garcia and Maria Alvarez, who are all related, were arrested after investigators found 97 pounds of marijuana inside one the houses at the compound.

Guerra said investigators smelled marijuana as they served a forfiture seizure warrant to start the process of seizing the property.

Benitez, who has been arrested several times on drug charges, has fainted several times during past drug busts.

"She got out of getting arrested that day but we came back with arrest warrants and picked her up," Guerra said.

Many Action 4 News viewers question why this stash house still exists, after so many arrests and drug seizures.

"It takes time," Guerra answered. "The investigator has to do research on the property and get the deeds and bonds on the property before all of this is forfitted."

HITDA investigatros are building a case to shut the operation down once and for all.

Guerra said in the past the residents arrested were able to bond out even though they claim to be unemployed, but this time the county judge set a higher bond.