1 pleads guilty after 3 indicted on drug trafficking charges

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Out of a trio that was indicted in federal court on drug charges, Kyle Willeke, filed a guilty plea Monday for the charge of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. This followed the group being arrested in August after a sheriff’s deputy car was hit and spun off the road during an attempted pullover, and a search revealed a box full of drugs in a rental car.

Ricardo Rodriguez, Kyle Willeke, and Monique Derau were indicted in September on a charge of possessing “500 grams or more of methamphetamine” and conspiring to distribute after being arrested in August.

According to court documents, two deputies with the Potter County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) and a PCSO K9 were on a routine patrol when court documents described that deputies saw a Toyota Rav4 with a California registration on I-40, following another vehicle too closely.

While following the Rav4 to pull it over, deputies reported that an Infiniti SUV with Florida plates was “driving erratically” next to the patrol vehicle. The Infiniti and Rav4 “moved in unison” while the deputies worked to get between the two vehicles and move them off of the road. When the Rav4 began to exit towards Hope Road with the patrol vehicle following, deputies said that the Infiniti hit the patrol car near the rear driver’s side and caused it to spin out of control.

Although the two cars drove away, deputies reported finding debris from the Infiniti near the site of the crash and were able to identify that the Rav4 was a rental from California, and the Infiniti belonged to Monique Derau with a Florida address. Using information from the Infiniti’s registration, officers said they were able to track Derau’s phone to a car rental business in Amarillo before moving East on I-40 away from the city. The vehicle that was rented after the crash by Derau, according to officers, was a Mazda CX3 SUV.

A Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper (DPS) saw the CX3, which had been sent out to law enforcement agencies as something to look out for, Eastbound on I-40, and court documents described that the trooper joined sheriff’s deputies from Gray and Wheeler Counties to stop the vehicle.

Rodriguez, Willeke, and Derau were in the CX3 when it was pulled over, and while searching the car officers reported finding a cardboard box containing plastic bags of what tests said was over 16 pounds of methamphetamine.

After searching phone records and considering other evidence, court document testimony said that there was “probable cause” to believe the three were involved in drug trafficking.

This story is developing. Check with MyHighPlains.com for updates.

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