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A fascinating drug bust press release

by William Crum Published: October 17, 2013

This was a fascinating press release. I’m sharing it in its entirety; it’s pretty compelling reading. Somebody (allegedly) was smuggling drugs in a hidden compartment inside a car shipped on one of those auto transport trucks you see all the time on the highway. Guess it’s a work-around when UPS won’t ship your package.

Drug bust takes Sheriff’s Deputy to Missouri

On Friday, October 11, 2013 Deputies with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office discovered an illegal load of drugs being smuggled in a vehicle loaded on a parked car hauler at the TA Truck Stop on Morgan Road near I-40. Deputies were drawn to the 2004 Ford Explorer loaded at the rear of the transport trailer when they learned the vehicle was picked up in Los Angeles, California and headed to Monett, Missouri; while being registered in Colorado.

After consent to enter the vheicle was obtained, a search revealed that a false compartment to the rear passenger area of the vehicle had been made. Deputies were able to access the false compartment where 15 bundles of illegal drugs believed to be methamphetamines were located. The bundles weighed 1.3 kilos each for a total weight of 19.5 kilos, or approximately 42.9 pounds, with an estimated street value in excess of 2.3 million dollars.

As task force members with the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office was able to coordinate a controlled delivery of the narcotics to their intended destination in Missouri.

“I’m extremely pleased with my deputy’s work on this case, and even more so that as members of the DEA’s federal task force we’re able to cross not only county lines, but state lines in order to apprehend the criminals behind this operation.” said Randall R. Edwards, Canadian County Sheriff.

Upon arrival to Monet, Missouri the Ford Explorer was released to a Hispanic male who paid the shipping fees and took possession of the vehicle. The task force followed the vehicle to a home in a residential area of Monett where the subject was met by other hispanic males. During the search of the property, more methamphetamines were located along with firearms, a substantial amount of US currency and documents related to the trafficking of the narcotics.

In all, six individuals were booked into the Monett City Jail pending transfer to a Federal Detention Center to await trial on charges of Trafficking Narcotics, Conspiracy to Traffic Narcotics, Money Laundering and Weapons related charges.

“It appears this was a long running operation involving the use of unsuspecting Semi drivers to transport the vehicles containing the narcotics cross country. The group was using sophisticated concealment methods to ensure the safe transit of the narcotics and seems to have utilized the small town of Monett due it’s rural location with a large immigrant population,” Edwards said.

by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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