Pot found along with peppers in DeSoto County bust - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Chip Washington

Pot found along with peppers in DeSoto County bust

DESOTO COUNTY, MS (WMC-TV) - Officers searching a tractor-trailer rig at an inspection station Tuesday in DeSoto County found something "hotter" than its load of peppers.

Mississippi Department of Transportation enforcement officer Lt. Grafton Burton said that tucked the truck along with hot peppers and celery was marijuana with a street value of approximately $460,000.

The discovery came Monday morning after MDOT officers noticed a tractor-trailer rig pulling through an Interstate 55 inspection facility with the tractor's license plate displayed in the front windshield.

"When the officer went in to the front of the trailer, he noticed some bundles of what he believed to be marijuana," Burton said.

Officers became suspicious and received the driver's consent to search the trailer and found the marijuana in 22 large bundles.

Burton said the driver, Jose R. Garcia, 25, of Fontana, Calif., was arrested on a charge of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

According to Burton, this was not the first time a large bust was made at the same station by the same officer.

"Last year, I can't remember what date, we got like about 1.3 million dollars out of a truck up here at these facilities," Burton said.

Officers usually don't inspect trucks unless they exceed weight limitations or their paperwork is incorrect.  Burton said the officer who made the bust has only been with MDOT about nine months, but had prior law enforcement experience.

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