(WMC-TV) - Following a string of tips, the Memphis Police Department's Organized Crime Unit hit the mother lode Monday when investigators found nearly a million dollars in marijuana.
More than a dozen bales of marijuana were seized at a Memphis truck stop by investigators and it was all thanks to everyday citizens.
"People calling in reference to prostitution, illegal drug activity, not just at this particular truck stop, but truck stops throughout the city," said Toney Armstrong, Memphis police director.
In response to those complaints, Armstrong launched a routine truck stop detail that took officers to a Pilot station on Lamar and Shelby.
Monday, a drug sniffing dog gave a positive alert on a 2005 Peterbuilt tractor trailer. The trailer sat for hours as officers waited for the driver to return.
Armstrong said it unclear what the driver was up to until 11 o'clock that night.
"We have no idea right now, but I have a good suspicion," said Armstrong laughing.
When Andy Hooks of Brownsville, TX, turned up, he gave OCU the green light to search his semi.
Officers seized 13 bales of marijuana, weighing 897 pounds and with a street value of nearly one million dollars.
"Anytime that you get someone that's transporting massive amounts of marijuana, especially in this quantity, you have to believe this is an ongoing activity," Armstrong said.
However, Armstrong couldn't say if his department is collaborating with Texas law enforcement or where the drugs were going.
"Whenever we have this amount of drugs, we try to cover all bases from the origination of the load to the destination," he said.
Armstrong said the bust encourages the department to keep up its truck stop detail.
"We think we're on the right track," he said. "The proof is in the pudding."
Armstrong said Hooks had rolls of plastic in the trailer to try to make the load look legitimate.
The Texan is in the Shelby County Jail on possession and intent to sell marijuana charges. He's due in court Thursday.