Parker County man back in jail on drug charges

Posted Thursday, Sep. 06, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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A Parker County man who had bailed out of jail Wednesday afternoon was returned to a jail cell about five hours later after authorities discovered about 36 pounds of K-2 in a storage facility that he rented.

Last week, authorities arrested Francisco Don Uduwarage and raided his store, Tobacco N More in Weatherford, and seized 890 packages of K-2, a form of synthetic marijuana.

Uduwarage, 40, was released at 2:24 p.m. Wednesday from the Parker County Jail in Weatherford after he posted $75,000 bail on the first drug charge following the raid at his store.

The Weatherford man was booked back into jail at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday after more drugs were found in the storage facility. He remained in jail Thursday and a bail amount had not been set.

After the raid last week and his first arrest, authorities continued an investigation that led investigators to a warehouse on South Bowie Street in Weatherford.

Initially, Uduwarage denied using the facility, but later admitted to using the warehouse and the contents inside belonged to him, according to a Parker County Sheriff's Department news release.

Armed with search warrants, authorities confiscated 36 pounds of K-2 with a street value of $134, 940.

From the two raids, investigators also seized $118,340 in cash, according to the news release.

"It is our hope that the recent activity of the Special Crimes Unit would send a clear message to those individuals trafficking this type of product in our area," said Weatherford Police Chief Mike Manning in the news release. "We will use every available legal means to ensure the safety of the public."

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said authorities have had several businesses under investigation in the last year for these type of sales.

"Our SCU investigators have spent numerous man hours in the investigations, tracking the sales of K-2 and enforcing the no-tolerance laws set in place for our community," the sheriff said.

Last week, authorities executed a search warrant at the Uduwarage's store, 3017 Ranger Highway, and confiscated 890 packages of K-2.

Uduwarage was arrested along with two other people: store clerk Sanka Dilhara Welihinda, 27, of Weatherford and a customer, Karen C. Erwin, 50, of Fort Worth on suspicion of possession of methamphetamines.

Uduwarage and Welihinda face charges of delivering a controlled substance, authorities said.

According to a sheriff's news release, both identified themselves as illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka. Fowler said U.S. immigration authorities were contacted.

This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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