TN Drug Task Force Seizes 50 Lbs. Of Synthetic Marijuana And Cash

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(Haywood County, TN) A traffic stop on Interstate 40 in Haywood County led to the biggest synthetic marijuana seizure in the State of Tennessee so far in 2014.

Turns out the man and woman arrested are from Florida and are already on probation on other drug charges relating to synthetic narcotics.

Agents found a wad of cash in their pick-up truck, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Thursday, no one answered the door at 141 Dupree Street in Jackson Tennessee, even though someone inside tried to cover the windows with plastic while we were there.

The two-story home is one of the addresses given for 32-year old Patrick Van Aken and 30-year old Sarah Van Aken.

The two were arrested after the members of the West Tennessee Drug Task Force found  50-pounds of synthetic marijuana at the Jackson address Monday night.

So far this year,  it's the largest seizure of synthetic marijuana, which is also known as K2 and Spice.

Officers also found a laboratory for making synthetic narcotics, scales, drug paraphernalia and labeling materials.

The Van Aken's were pulled over Monday near mile marker-46 in Haywood County for a traffic violation.

They told a Tennessee Trooper they were going to Memphis from Jackson and were in the business of  "flipping" houses and they owned two in Memphis.

A background check revealed both had been on probation in Florida on drug  convictions involving synthetic narcotics.

And apparently they didn't have driver's license.

After agreeing to a consent to search their vehicle, Troopers found a large amount of  cash and U.S. Mail Priority receipts.

Agents went to the Van Aken's address on Dupree Street and hit the "jackpot."

A search of two houses in Memphis belonging to the Aken's turned up a small amount of synthetic marijuana and processing chemicals.

In all more than $18,000 in cash was also seized.

Both of the Van Aken's  face drug and money laundering charges.

They are currently out of jail on bond.


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