A Lindale business owner, who was arrested in August in a massive drug raid at his home, was found dead in a Dallas motel late Wednesday night, said Smith County Pct. 5 Constable Dennis Taylor.
Dallas authorities told Taylor that Troy Glen Shelton, 45, had apparently hanged himself.
Shelton, who owned the Lindale Tire Shop, was arrested in late July at his home at FM 16 and FM 14 where authorities found more than 31 pounds of vacuumed packed marijuana, plus methamphetamine, plus $25,000 worth of guns, plus cash.
The value of the marijuana and meth was estimated to be in excess of $200,000, Taylor said making it one of the biggest drug busts in East Texas history.
The weed was valued at $6,000 per pound, Taylor said. The drug was found in vacuumed sealed bags and jars. Quantities of methamphetamine were also found, Taylor said, as well as a large amount of cash.
In addition to the processed drugs, deputies seized 15 marijuana plants from an area behind Shelton’s house.
Deputies also seized more than 100 weapons.
On the day of his arrest Taylor said Shelton collapsed and had to be transported to East Texas Medical Center where he was scheduled to undergo heart surgery. He was booked into the Smith County Jail two weeks later and nine days after that he was released.
Taylor said Shelton had made “about two trips per month to California for the past couple of years’’ on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle pulling a trailer.
Also seized in the July raid were handguns, a shotgun and rifle ammunition as well as two Harley Davidson motorcycles, one Suzuki motorcycle, a motorcycle trailer, several knives, video recorders, drug paraphernalia and an illegal ballistic military vest.
Taylor said the suspect had been under surveillance for several weeks.
“We think the business (Lindale Tire Shop) was the cover for this,’’ Taylor said. “You don’t expect business people in town to be involved in things like this, but he sure was. He was under the radar for a long time.’’
Shelton had just returned from California shortly before the bust, Taylor said.
“We had just picked up his name about two or three months ago,’’ the constable said.
Taylor said he couldn’t be sure until his office ran the necessary checks, but in cases such as this seized firearms are likely to have been stolen.