Friday July 1, 2005
Technique - The South's Liveliest College NewspaperNews

Houston arrested in marijuana conspiracy

Courtesy of GTAA

Reuben Houston faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted.

By Nikhil Joshi News Editor

Tech football player Reuben Houston, a projected starter at cornerback, was arrested on campus Wednesday, June 22 for allegedly conspiring to distribute 94 pounds of marijuana worth $60,000.

A criminal complaint filed in United States District Court stated that Houston could face up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $1 million.

The U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern California District stated that Houston had planned to distribute the marijuana at Tech. The marijuana, which came from Oscar Rosales, was brought to Tech by Rosales' nephew Anthony Baltazar.

Houston and fifteen other co-conspirators were arrested because of connections with drug distributors in Fresno, California.

A police report filed by federal agent Mark Rodrigues said that on Feb. 12 Houston met Rosales and Baltazar.

Rodrigues saw Houston carrying a child and a small duffle bag into an SUV where Rosales and Baltazar were waiting.

They drove to Tech in the SUV containing the marijuana on Feb. 12. After police followed the three men for some distance, they realized that they were being followed and abandoned the vehicle. The police then seized the drugs.

On May 17, police arrested Baltazar, who told them that Houston was supposed to pay him $60,000 for the drugs. The case is still being investigated to determine Houston's degree of involvement in the deal.

Houston was released on property bond for $30,000 on June 22 and had a preliminary hearing on Monday, in Fresno, Calif.

Houston has been suspended from the Institute and from the Tech football team.

This story draws from an article published June 22 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.