A Lawton man is behind bars after police say they caught him hauling a large amount of methamphetamine in his car this week.
Even more meth was stashed at his house, along with cash and several stolen guns inside a barricaded room, police said.
Court records show Timothy J. Benavides, 26, appeared in Comanche County District Court and was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and five misdemeanors carrying weapons and drug paraphernalia, driving without a license or insurance and excessive window tinting and ordered held in lieu of a $100,000 bond.
The excessive window tinting, according to an arrest report, is what caught the attention of police Detectives Mark Durham and Chris Hall around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday as they were on patrol near Southwest 25th Street and White Avenue.
The detectives initiated a traffic stop, prompting the driver to slam on the brakes, pull over to the right then slow down to about 5 mph, the arrest report said. However, the driver didn’t stop; he swerved all the way to the left curb, then back across the roadway before pulling into a driveway, according to the report.
Police approached the driver and immediately identified Benavides, who has had multiple encounters with law enforcement in recent years. Officers also knew Wednesday that Benavides’ license was suspended, and because they saw him fumbling around in the truck before stopping, they asked him to step from the truck. Benavides had a large knife clipped to his left pants pocket, police said. The window tint was not within the legal limit, and Benavides was arrested before police even found a secret compartment inside the vehicle.
According to an affidavit filed in court, detectives found the bench seat could be lifted to reveal a secret compartment. Inside, police found a stack of money ($388), casino cards, hotel room keys and a pouch with about 43 grams of meth. Benavides told police he had just bought the truck from a friend.
As if 43 grams of meth wasn’t a large enough find, investigators gathered more evidence and another arrestee when they went back to Benavides’ house, 2501 SW White, Wednesday afternoon with a search warrant.
There, police encountered another man, who has not yet been charged, and Benavides’ wife. After searching the house, police said they found one of the doors to a back bedroom had been locked and barricaded. Inside they found about 50 more grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a stolen shotgun, four handguns (one of which was stolen) an SKS rifle, more than 1,000 pounds of ammunition, 261 grams of marijuana, military gear, surveillance cameras and flat-screen TVs, according to the Lawton Police Department.