A prominent member of the Texas State Legislature turned himself in Thursday after an arrest warrant was issued accusing him of dropping an envelope containing small plastic bags of cocaine at an Austin airport in September.
Rep. Poncho Nevarez, D-Eagle Pass, was arrested, fingerprinted, photographed and then released Thursday, with bond set at $10,000, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
“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.
“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,” Nevarez said. He added that he would seek treatment.
The Democrat chairs the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee in the Texas House, which is in recess until January 2021.
According to police, Nevarez dropped the envelope after a flight to Austin in September 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.
Tests determined the white powder was cocaine and police sought a DNA sample from Nevarez in October as part of the investigation.
Nevarez announced earlier this month he would not run for another term without saying why.
The drug charge against Nevarez carries a sentence of 10 years in prison, Fox 7 Austin reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.