Arlington police seize 72,000 Xanax tablets from apartment

Arlington police seized 72,000 pills from an apartment this week.
Arlington police seized 72,000 pills from an apartment this week. Courtesy of Arlington Police Department.

A maintenance inspection at an Arlington apartment complex this week led to the seizure of about 72,000 Xanax pills, four handguns and 22 pounds of marijuana, police said Thursday.

Department officials think the bust is “one of the largest, if not the largest pill seizure ever” in Arlington, said Lt. Chris Cook, a police spokesman, estimating the value of the pills at $175,000.

The apartment’s tenant, identified as Duc Chi Ta, 24, drove up while officers were getting ready to search the apartment in the 1700 block of Saddle Creek Circle.

He was arrested and released from jail Wednesday morning on $55,000 bail.

A police officer was dispatched to Ta’s apartment complex about 2 p.m. Tuesday after a maintenance worker reported seeing a large amount of marijuana in the apartment, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The complex manager told police that the apartments were being inspected for damage from recent storms.

The officer reported that “there was no doubt” that the smell of marijuana was coming from Ta’s apartment, according to the affidavit. When the maintenance worker let the officer into the apartment, the officer found a pistol on the kitchen counter.

Police later found the pills, other guns and marijuana in the apartment.

Ta faces charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a first-degree felony, and possession of marijuana 5 to 50 pounds, a third-degree felony.

Investigators have not determined whether other people are involved because Ta is being “uncooperative,” Cook said.

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a benzodiazepine that is a controlled substance legally available by prescription to relieve anxiety or insomnia. “Abuse is frequently associated with adolescents and young adults who take the drug orally or crush it up and snort it to get high. Abuse is particularly high among heroin and cocaine abusers,” according to a fact sheet published by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.