San Benito family upset over home drug search

Lissette Martinez, 23, was on her way to drop-off her niece at school in San Benito, she said, when she apparently failed to signal a turn and was stopped by a Cameron County sheriff deputy.

Martinez said that while the deputy ran her license, a second officer dressed in plain clothes approached her, and gave her some unexpected news.

"He said, ~oh I TMm a Crime Stopper (officer), and somebody had called|(saying) someone at this address was selling drugs, TM Martinez recalled. I (thought) that was kind of weird - but whatever."

Martinez said several other officers, also dressed in plain clothes, were also on scene in minutes.

The woman tells Action 4 News that the deputies told her she could no longer drive her vehicle and an officer got behind the wheel, while the others followed.

After dropping off her niece at school, Martinez said deputies officers asked her to lead them to the family's home on Kornegay Road, just outside San Benito.

Martinez said when they arrived there, deputies asked her to sign a search consent on a scrap of paper, where they wrote the home TMs address. She said she signed it out of fear.

If I didn TMt let them in (the house), I didn TMt know what they were going to do because I was scared, Martinez said. I didn TMt know if they were probably going to do something to me."

She said the officers had her sit on the couch, confiscated her phone, and started looking for through the home.

"They were looking through my mom's room, the cabinets in the kitchen, the laundry room, Martinez said, and they told me to show them everything and (asked about the rooms) and who is living here."

The woman TMs mother, Celia Martinez, is outraged. She claims that after finding nothing illegal, she got a phone call from an alleged FBI investigator.

"They wanted to talk to me for the misunderstanding and what had happened in the daytime in my home, Celia Martinez said. I said, ~yes that's a big misunderstanding. TM

Celia adds her daughter was mistreated and the supposed mistake has taken its toll on her family's sense of security in their own home.

According to Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, deputies searched the home following a Crime Stoppers tip of illegal activity at the home.

He said deputies found about 100 cell phones at the home, but did not confiscate them. Lucio adds they turned over this case to the FBI.

An FBI spokesperson in San Antonio had no comment.