Pair held on $1 million bond after drug, forgery arrest

Shelby County Sheriff's Office stop leads to arrest

Two men arrested this week on drug and forgery charges are being held in the Shelby County Jail on more than $1 million total bond, according to Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell.

Blackwell reported the arrest of Christopher Wuyts, 34, of Porter, and Nicholas Winder, 23, of The Woodlands, after a traffic stop revealed a large amount of cash and currency.

On Aug. 7, at approximately 4:30 p.m. Shelby County Sheriff’s Office's Sgt. Josh Tipton observed a 2001 white Ford pickup at an intersection in Tenaha. Tipton observed both the driver and passenger to be visibly nervous and reaching for items in the vehicle.

When the light turned green, Tipton drove through the intersection continuing to monitor the subjects. Upon passing the vehicle, Tipton observed the driver making a turn off U.S. 59 onto a side road without using a turn signal.

ipton turned around and caught up to the vehicle at a stop sign. The vehicle turned back on to U.S. 59 North failing to signal again.

Tipton ran the vehicle identifiers through the SCSO Communications Division and no record was found on the vehicle. Tipton turned on his lights and initiated a traffic stop. The vehicle traveled three miles before stopping prior to going into Panola County.

Tipton contacted both the driver and passenger who he said both appeared extremely nervous. While obtaining information regarding travel plans, the stories did not match, he said.

At one point during the roadside interview, the driver admitted to having marijuana in the vehicle. After talking to both subjects for an extended period of time, Tipton requested to do a search of the vehicle and permission was denied.

Tipton contacted the sheriff's office communications division and requested K-9 assistance from Panola County, if available. 

Officer Richard Mojica and K-9 Roxie responded to the location. Prior to Mojica’s arrival, Shelby County Constable Pct. 4 Jake Metcalf arrived to assist Tipton with the scene.

Once on scene, K-9 Roxie performed a free open-air sniff around the vehicle and alerted a positive response of narcotics. A probable cause search was conducted. 

During the search, a large quantity of what is believed to be liquid methamphetamine was found. The total weight was over six pounds, Blackwell said.

Approximately 20 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine was found, along with a large variety of pills and what is believed to be injectable testosterone as well as anabolic steroids. These items will be sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety lab in Tyler for testing.

During booking Wuyts, driver of the vehicle, was found to be in possession of $5,352 in currency and coins. The currency is believed to be derived from the sale of illegal narcotics. During the investigation, a $50 dollar bill was found to be counterfeit, dropping the total to $5,302.

Wuyts and passenger Winder were charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance (F-1); Possession of a Controlled Substance (F-3); Forgery (F-3); and Possession of Dangerous Drug (M-A).

Officers assisting with this search included SCSO Lt. Del Birdwell, SCSO Deputy Kurtes Lawrence, Constable Pct. 4 Jake Metcalf and DPS Trooper Sean Smith.

“The SCSO would like to extend great appreciation to Panola County Sheriff Officer Robert Mojica and K-9 Roxie for their assistance with this stop,” Blackwell said.. “The SCSO would also like to thank Joey Ross Towing for their assistance with removing the vehicle from the scene.

Seizure paperwork has been filed for the currency and vehicle obtained from this arrest, the sheriff said.

Wuyts and Winder are being held at the Shelby County jail on bonds totaling $1,010,000. They were arraigned by 123 District Judge Leann Rafferty.