EDINBURG—Three men and one woman were charged here Thursday after police said they found them with 150 pounds of marijuana in a nearby home.

Michael Mendoza, 33, Matthew Torres, 23, Michael Alaniz, 29 and Jessica Gamez, 20, were each charged with possession of marijuana between 50 and 2,000 pounds, a second degree felony.

According to a criminal complaint, Edinburg narcotics investigator Michael Burner received information Wednesday from another officer that drugs were possibly being stored at 1010 S. 8th Ave.

The complaint states that investigators could strongly smell unburned marijuana from the outside of the house when they went to investigate and were knocking on the door when a white Mercedes arrived. The driver, Sandra Spencer, told the officers she owned the home and let her sons live there while she lived in McAllen.

Spencer allowed the officers to search the home, where they found Mendoza, Torres, Alaniz and Gamez along with the drugs and other materials, according to the complaint. The marijuana was wrapped in nine separate bundles, as well as loose in a Rubbermaid container. Officers also found plastic wrapping, digital scales and packaging boxes.

Torres and Alaniz are Spencer’s sons, said Edinburg police Lt. Oscar Treviño. Torres is a senior at the University of Texas-Pan American.

Records show that Torres has prior arrests for possession of marijuana in 2008 and 2010. Alaniz has a prior felony offense for theft and misdemeanor offense for racing on the highway. The other two had clean criminal records.

Judge Toribio “Terry” Palacios set a $50,000 bond for Torres, Mendoza and Gamez. Alaniz was given a $75,000 bond because of his prior record.



Elizabeth Findell covers Pharr, San Juan, Alamo, the Mid-Valley and general assignments for The Monitor. She can be reached at efindell@themonitor.com or (956) 683-4428.