A stop at a Killeen gas station ultimately led to a brief police chase and the arrest of a man now charged with money laundering, and possession of marijuana.
Deonte Hicks, 23, of Killeen was booked into the Bell County Jail Thursday morning on charges of money laundering under $30,000 and possession of marijuana under five pounds — both state jail felonies.
According to an arrest affidavit, on April 26 a Killeen police officer noticed a maroon vehicle parked at a gas pump with the gas tank facing away from the pump. The officer observed a man leave the maroon car and enter the back seat of a black Dodge Journey parked at another pump before returning to his vehicle, police said.
Believing a “narcotics transaction” had just occurred, the officer proceeded to drive toward the maroon car to detain the vehicle, but “the vehicle drove evasively through the parking lot” and ultimately got away, according to police.
The officer followed the black Dodge Journey instead and conducted a traffic stop, according to the affidavit, after the vehicle failed to signal within the required distance prior to a turn.
The driver of the black Dodge Journey was identified as Deonte Hicks, who was driving with passenger Uriel McKinson.
McKinson was booked into the Bell County Jail in April on similar money laundering and marijuana possession charges, according to the Bell County Jail inmates website.
According to the affidavit, McKinson & Hicks admitted to having marijuana in the vehicle.
During a vehicle search, officers found additional marijuana, suspected tetrahydrocannabinol, a stolen firearm, a digital scale, baggies and rubber bands commonly used to package narcotics for sale, police said.
McKinson had $24,425 in cash on his person, according to police, and another $21,758 in cash was claimed by Hicks.
“Hicks told officers he was currently unemployed,” police said. “McKinson told officers that $6,000 belongs to his sister and that he earned the rest of the money making music.”
Hicks’ total bond was set at $70,000, according to the Bell County Jail inmate website.