Aneuly Gonzalez was on his way from California to New York, driving a UHaul truck. He was delivering over 3,000 pounds of cargo in boxes. While making his way through the Texas Panhandle (on December 5th, 2019) Gonzalez was pulled over by Texas Highway Patrol in Carson County, Texas, for a traffic violation. While roadside, the Texas Department of Safety called in the D.E.A. to run of series of tests on the goods. After testing the cargo and viewing Gonzalez’ lab reports he had on- hand, the agents determined what Gonzalez was transporting, to be marijuana. In all, 3,350 pounds of what the authorities believed to be marijuana were seized and Gonzalez was arrested and charged with felony possession of marijuana.
The only problem, it wasn’t marijuana. Gonzalez was transporting hemp legally.
Mistaken Identity (of Cargo)
It turns out, via the court documents, Gonzalez was also stopped in Arizona earlier during his trip but the authorities there eventually realized, his cargo was legal hemp.
He wasn’t so lucky in Texas, where it seems the law enforcement team was simply in over their heads regarding the legalities of hemp vs. marijuana, more specifically House Bill 1325. Gonzalez was totally cooperative during the roadside tests but his eagerness to comply didn’t help him much. From the court documents, the DEA agent claimed he was unaware of Bill 1325 which pertains to hemp law and was confused about the legal limit for THC. The legal limit for hemp is actually .30 percent, but the agent thought it was .03 percent.
Gonzales headed to jail and his precious cargo was seized and stayed with authorities, while the facts of the matter came to light. That’s where one of the leading cannabis law attorneys in the country and one of the only attorneys dedicated to cannabis law in Texas, Daniel Mehler, comes in. Mehler who relocated from Colorado to Texas, and runs the firm Mehler Cannabis, stated this to us today:
Our client, Aneudy Gonzalez, did everything the right way. He cooperated with the officer who stopped him. Mr. Gonzalez presented the lab results for his cargo on the side of the road and allowed the office to examine the hemp he had. He was completely honest and open with the DEA agents who interviewed him. There was nothing more he could have done and he was still jailed by the Federal Government for almost a month.
Gonzalez is now heading back on a plane to his family in New York, as a free man. The U.S. Government moved to dismiss the charges against Mehler’s client. Mehler added this in a statement:
We will now be seeking the return of the property and just compensation for our client losing a month of his life in the custody of the U.S. Marshals.