400 Pounds of Marijuana Found in Texas Ambulance
Three men, including a Houston-area paramedic, were arrested after investigators found nearly 400 pounds of marijuana in an ambulance, KPRC Local 2 reported Friday.
Maumelle, Ark., police said they discovered the drugs after the ambulance broke down near a gasoline station.
"An individual, that was actually an off-duty police officer, called and said that he just felt like things were out of sort," Chief Sam Williams said.
Officers arrived and found the men and the ambulance.
"They were wearing white shirts and black BDU pants," Williams said. "The white shirts had some rank insignia of them. It would be fair to say that they were wearing clothing that would resemble medical personnel."
John Willhite, a licensed paramedic from Alvin, was arrested on suspicion of unspecified drug charges. Willhite was charged with drug possession in Harris County in 2004.
Until last week, he worked for Bayou City E.M.S. The owner said Willhite asked to take some personal time off.
The Texas Department of State Health Services suspended Willhite on Friday.
Willhite was placed on a two-year suspension for violating emergency medical services rules in 2006.
Two other men, Robert Abreu and Anthony Aviles, both from Florida, were also taken into custody.
The marijuana was found in cardboard boxes stuffed into compartments designed to hold medical supplies, detectives said.
Detectives said the marijuana had a street value of about $500,000. It was the largest drug bust in the Arkansas town's history.
Investigators said they believe the men picked up the marijuana in California for a Florida destination.
The ambulance was registered to a West Columbia, Texas, home under the name Life Line, LLC. Officials said the ambulance's owner planned to travel to Arkansas to retrieve the vehicle, which was taken without his knowledge.