AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A prominent Texas state lawmaker admitted Thursday that he dropped an envelope containing several baggies of cocaine at an Austin airport, and he said he would be seeking drug treatment.
The state police said that airport security cameras caught Democratic state Rep. Poncho Nevarez dropping the envelope bearing his official state letterhead on the ground as he climbed into a vehicle on Sept. 6.
Nevarez did not immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment, but in a statement sent to several news outlets, he said the “the news is true” and that he would seek treatment.
“I do not have anyone to blame but myself,” he said. “I accept this because it is true and it will help me get better.”
Nevarez, who is an attorney from the West Texas city of Eagle Pass, is chairman of the Texas House’s Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. He announced last month that he wouldn’t seek re-election, but he didn’t say why.
According to police, Nevarez dropped the envelope after a flight to Austin on a plane owned by his law firm. The envelope remained on the ground as Nevarez drove away. It was later picked up by airport workers, who found baggies of white powder inside and alerted police.
An examination of the powder found it to be cocaine, police said. Authorities then obtained a DNA sample from Nevarez in October in an attempt to match his saliva to DNA found on the envelope. The details of the dropped envelope were included in an affidavit filed to support the DNA search warrant.
Nevarez hasn’t been charged, but investigators said in the affidavit that he is suspected of third-degree felony drug possession, which carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison if convicted.