State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, has turned himself in after authorities issued a warrant for his arrest on cocaine charges, he told the American-Statesman Friday.
“I’ve done that already. The warrant is clear,” Nevárez said in a text message when asked if he had turned himself in.
The Maverick County jail and the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed that Nevárez was arrested, fingerprinted, photographed and released Thursday. His bond was set at $10,000, according to the arrest warrant.
A lawyer representing Nevárez did not immediately return a phone call.
Nevárez, chairman of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, has been charged with a third-degree felony for possessing 1 to 4 grams of cocaine.
He faces two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The arrest warrant was filed Thursday, accusing Nevárez of dropping an envelope of cocaine outside the entrance of the Texas Department of Transportation Flight Services at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. That section of the airport is used by state officials, employees and those traveling on official state business.
The arrest warrant said the substance found in the envelope tested positive for cocaine and officials confirmed that Nevárez was “the subject seen on video surveillance footage dropping the white envelope.”
Four cotton swabs with Nevárez’s DNA were sent to a crime lab for testing, according to a search warrant affidavit filed on Oct. 29.
Nevárez, who announced last week that he would not seek reelection next year, said in a statement Thursday, “The news is true.”
“I do not have anyone to blame but myself,” he said. “In a weird way I am grateful. Grief and addiction were consuming me, but oddly enough, I feel better now than I have in a long time, and I mean that. I have many relationships to repair starting at home and I intend to seek treatment.”
In a statement Friday, the Texas Department of Public Safety said “the investigation remains active.”
This is a developing story that will be updated.