Tee Pee Motel: Kitschy Wharton Landmark Scene of March Drug Bust

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A quirky roadside motel from America's golden age of highway travel was the scene of a good-sized cocaine bust late last month.

According to the Wharton Journal-Spectator, Wharton County Sheriff's deputies raided teepee number ten at the Tee Pee Motel on March 27. Inside they found 48 grams of cocaine and some pot. Arrested were 30-year-old Daniel Romero Noguez Jr. of Wharton and 20-year-old Kandilyn Lathon of Hungerford.

An anonymous tip called out this cavalry. Apparently there had been an inordinate amount of traffic in and out of Noguez and Lathon's Crazy Horse-style temporary abode.

When police knocked, there was a long silence, and when the door was finally opened, police say the room reeked of something stronger than peace-pipe tobacco. Pct. 2 Constable John Szymanski told the paper that a large quantity of crack was in the toilet, and that there was a small amount of powder cocaine and weed on the bed.

Along with a few misdemeanors, Noguez and Lathon are each charged with two felonies: tampering with evidence and delivery of a controlled substance.

The 70-year-old Tee Pee Motel owes its salvation to the Texas Lottery. The motel closed some time in the early '80s and stood crumbling by the highway for decades. And then, eight years ago Bryon Woods hit a $49 million jackpot. At his wife Barbara's urging, the former diesel mechanic bought and restored the kitschy Americana classic on Highway 59. In 2006 the motel reopened with all modern conveniences and with the addition of an adjacent RV park.

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