PHARR, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A man is free after he was falsely accused of transporting 700 gallons of liquid meth.
Juan Carlos Toscano Guzman was arrested on Feb. 15 after officers with Pharr PD saw three men pouring liquid into 5-gallon buckets near the area of S. Lamar Drive.
ValleyCentral spoke to Guzman’s attorney Oscar Vega, who said the charges were dropped after the chemicals were tested and were determined not to be methamphetamine.
Vega said that the rapid testing executed by Pharr police and the DEA initially showed a “detectable amount” of a compound that could have been the basis for other things, not just meth.
“It came out positive and that’s enough to hold you,” Vega said.
As a result, Guzman was held in custody for 39 days, he said.
Vega said that the substance was a mix of diesel and oil that Guzman was transporting to Mexico. Vega added that Guzman was not a United States citizen, but was in the country legally at the time of his arrest.
On Feb. 15, 2022, officers saw three men pouring liquid from 55-gallon barrels into the buckets near liquid tanker trailers. The officer called for backup and Pharr Fire Department noticed crystallization forming around the barrels, which were tested.
Agents with the DEA estimated that 700 gallons of liquid meth were inside the tankers, eight barrels and buckets, worth an estimated $10 million, a release from Pharr PD stated.
On March 9, Guzman was indicted on one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possessing a controlled substance of 500 grams or more.
A motion was filed to dismiss the indictment on March 25, and that same day, the charges were dismissed.
ValleyCentral reached out to Pharr PD for a comment and they released the following statement:
Initially, Pharr PD discovered suspicious activity involving a liquid substance being poured from blue barrels into a tanker trailer without proper hazard placards. Multi-drug field tests administered by DEA and another responding agency identified the substance as meth, and then presumptive meth field tests administered by DEA and another responding agency again identified the substance as meth. Those multi-drug and presumptive meth tests, along with the crystallization around the barrels and tanker trailer, provided probable cause to make an arrest and file federal charges due to the significant amount seized at the time.Pharr PD Chief Andy Harvey