Mississippi Department of Transportation law enforcement officers Tuesday around 11:00 a.m. intercepted a truck hauling a controlled substance across the state, according to Chief of MDOT Law Enforcement Willie Huff.
A truck was stopped near the I-20 and I-59 intersection in Lauderdale County for a routine paperwork inspection. The truck was traveling eastbound without a trailer.
Upon further inspection, the officers located five large suitcases and two duffle bags containing approximately 276 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $300,000.
The driver, Jermaine Price, of Inglewood, Calif., and the co-driver Adrian Brown, of Eagle Rock, Calif., were arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and were taken to the Madison County Jail. Additional federal charges are possible.
Officers from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Drug Enforcement Agency and the Meridian Police Department's K-9 unit assisted with the investigation.
"I am proud of the MDOT enforcement officers for their commitment to the protection of the state's transportation infrastructure and the interdiction of contraband," Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall said. "The officers take seriously their homeland security responsibilities as evidenced by this and other seizures."
Enforcing the state's truck size and weight laws is the primary function of MDOT's Law Enforcement Division. But due to the increased influx of drugs through Mississippi in recent years, the agency has joined forces with law enforcement agencies statewide in an effort to stop drug trafficking on state highways.
"MDOT's Law Enforcement Division will continue to monitor commercial vehicle movement and investigate suspicious circumstances that threaten the safety and well-being of the people of Mississippi," said Huff.