La Joya police making room for more

Each and every day La Joya police officers conduct routine traffic stops while patrolling the city.

Like clockwork they are able to catch numerous alleged drug smugglers driving through their city. But over time the collection of marijuana has to be taken out and burned to make room for me.

"It doesn't cost us anything but it takes up a lot of room for other cases, said Lt. Julian Gutierrez. For example, we have to keep some of the marijuana in this cell and that takes away from the prisoners."

But it is not as easy as taking it out back and setting it on fire"there is a process.

"The way we start is by getting a destruction notice, said Lt. Gutierrez. We put down how many pounds we're burning, how many bundles we take it to the D.A. TMs office and have them sign off on it."

They then have to go to DPS and get permission to burn the marijuana in a secure location.

"It takes us from six to eight hours to do the burning, said Chief Jose Del Angel. I wouldn't say the burning take time but taking all the wrapping off takes the most time."

As La Joya police prepare one-thousand pounds"they know in a couple of months this room will be full again.

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