Tracking the Traffickers

It's estimated that anywhere from $3 to $5 million worth of drugs are transported through Meridian every week.

While some of the loads are confiscated, such as the $3,000,000 cocaine bust recently, investigators say many of the carloads are undetected and for a good reason.

Over the years, drug traffickers have gotten more creative by hiding drugs in everything from the dash board, to seats and doors, in tires, bumpers, the trunks of cars and even in secret welded compartments in gas tanks."

"They might be a step or two ahead of us, but we're able to pick up on their techniques once they change," said Capt. Stanley Wash, commander of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. "It doesn't take us long to figure out how they're doing it."

Officials also say that most of the drugs being transported are coming from one part of the country.

"From our experience, if you make a stop going east normally there's drugs in the vehicle," said Wash. "If you make a stop with a vehicle going west there's money in it, so we say most of the times it's coming from the west coast over to the east coast."

For most of those transporting the drugs, Wash says they are often paid anywhere from $1,000 to five $5,000 per trip and often make more than one trip a week. Although this might seem like good money to some, he says the price they pay if caught is far greater, often equally at least 30 years in prison.

With many of those caught often prosecuted, Wash says slowly but surely, drug enforcers are making cracks in this type of crime.


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