Marianna Marchesini Stephen Roger Edwards
Dillion Ray Wimberley Jessica Brooke Banks
Early last week, Friendswood police making a routine traffic stop ended up finding crystal methamphetamine on three of four passengers in a vehicle. The arrest is just one of many recent meth-related arrests across the area.
On April 29, Friendswood police stopped a vehicle driven by Marianna Marchesini, 34, of La Marque, just after 4:30 p.m. in the 900 block of W. Edgewood Drive for speeding and failing to drive in a single lane, according to the police report.
Police said that as Marchesini was pulling over, they noticed that the front passenger attempting to hide something. While the driver and an officer were speaking, that front passenger, Stephen Roger Edwards, 33, of Freeport, appeared to be under the influence of narcotics, police said. He told police that he owned the vehicle but that Marchesini was driving because his license was expired.
Officers then ran warrant checks on the two backseat passengers, Jessica Brooke Banks, 30, of Pearland, and Dillion Ray Wimberley, 19, of Santa Fe. They found that Wimberley had an outstanding warrant in Galveston County connected to a controlled substance possession charge. He was then taken into police custody.
During a search of the car with consent from Marchesini, officers said they found an amount of crystal methamphetamine and a pistol near the where the driver and passenger had been sitting. It is believed by police that Edwards had been attempting to conceal that gun as they were being pulled over. Edwards later told police that Wimberley had stolen the weapon from a drug dealer, according to the police report. Police said a search of the backseat uncovered an amount of crystal methamphetamine in Banks' purse.
All four were subsequently arrested, with Banks, Edwards, and Marchesini all charged with possession of a controlled substance. Edwards was also charged possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Wimberley was arrested for the outstanding warrant.
According to Galveston County records, Edwards is still in custody on $120,00 bond, while Banks and Marchesini are still being held on $2,000 bond. Wimberley's current disposition was not immediately known.
Is crystal methamphetamine a problem in the Friendswood area? Friendswood Police Department Chief Robert Wieners said Monday that in his eyes it is a regional issue more than a Friendswood one. The April 29 arrest highlights a problem in the area that Wieners says is quickly becoming a bigger issue for local investigators.
In a prepared statement Monday, Wieners said the amount of methamphetamine that is present in the greater Houston area is a matter of concern for him and all law enforcement in the city.
In March, a Friendswood police investigation into buying and selling crystal methamphetamine, resulted in the arrest of 12 people in the course of one week.
Most of the people Friendswood police have arrested for meth possession, Wieners said, have been traveling along FM 528 and FM 2351. This leads Wieners to believe that it's been meth that’s coming through their city and not just area users and dealers.
"We’ve had a very small number of Friendswood residents that have been involved with methamphetamine," Wieners said in the statement.
Friendswood police spokeswoman KC Rodgers said that their investigations have shown there is a distribution network that is operating up and down the I-45 corridor, mostly out of area motels.
"The folks involved in the distribution and use have been longtime substance abusers, ages ranging from 28 to 55 years old. Most of the arrestees have been white and half have been female," she said.