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Dealer sentenced to 75 years TDCJ

PALESTINE, FEBRUARY 12, 2018 -- On January 24, 2018 an Anderson County Jury found 37 year old Raymond Soliz guilty of Possession of a Controlled Substance with intent to deliver PG1 4-200g and sentenced him to 75 years in TDCJ. In 2016, Soliz was stopped for a traffic violation. Deputy J. Palma testified that he noticed an expired registration tag on the vehicle that Soliz was driving. Palma turned on his lights and siren and it took Soliz over a minute to pull over. Once Soliz stopped, Palma made contact with a very nervous Soliz and determined that his driver’s license was eight times suspended. Palma placed Soliz under arrest for driving without an invalid license. Former Sgt. M. Skinner arrived on scene and assisted Palma with the inventory of the contents of Soliz’s vehicle subsequent to his arrest. During the inventory, multiple sandwich bags were located in the floor board of the vehicle. A folding knife with a suspected crystalline substance was located in the console, prescription controlled pills wedged in plain sight in the driver’s side vent were observed, and a digital scale was located under the console. Based on the discovery of these items, the nervousness of Soliz, and the length it took Soliz to stop after Deputy Palma attempted to pull him over Sgt. Skinner began a probable search for possible controlled substances. Deputies discovered a plastic sandwich bag containing 39 grams of methamphetamine hidden behind the removable console radio. Soliz was also arrested for the methamphetamine and evading arrest or detention in a vehicle.

After finding Soliz guilty of possessing the methamphetamine with intent to deliver, the jury heard evidence from Criminal District Attorney Investigator Aneshia Thompson, who is formerly with the DEA Taskforce, about the effects of methamphetamine on users and on the community. She also explained that Soliz would be considered a dealer due to the amount of methamphetamine that he possessed. The jury also heard that Soliz had been to prison three separate times before this charge and that when he was arrested on this charge he was on parole. After considering all the evidence, the jury assessed punishment at 75 years TDCJ. 3rd Judicial District Judge Mark Calhoon presided over the trial while Criminal District Attorney Allyson Mitchell and 1st Assistant Scott Holden represented the State. Soliz was represented by local defense attorney Stanley Sokolowski. 

Anderson County Criminal District Attorney believes that the guilty verdict and stiff 75 year sentence sends a stern message to dealers in our community. She said, “Plain and simple Raymond Soliz is a drug dealer. People like Soliz pray on the addicted and create new addicts everyday by peddling their poison throughout our community. A jury sentence like the one Soliz received let him and any other dealers know that Anderson County is taking back our community.” Mitchell further encouraged the community to remain observant in the policing of illegal drug activity in the community. “If someone sees suspected drug activity, whether it be the use or sale of drugs, please contact law enforcement. Together we can continue to work to make our community an even better place.”

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