44 pounds of cocaine seized in the Mid-South after traffic stop
FAYETTE Co.– 44 pounds of cocaine, a street value of $400,000 was seized from the back of a pickup traveling on I-40 in Fayette County.
Officials said the reason the vehicle was stopped was because it was speeding.
The three people inside, Tellerick Simon, 33, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Melvin Bullock, 29, of Duncanville, Texas, and Kayla Palmer, 32, told the West Tennessee Drug Task Force officer who stopped them they were traveling from Houston, Texas to Cleveland, Tennessee.
The three are being held in the Fayette County Jail on $2 million bond each.
"We're a pass-through area," explained Tim Helldorfer, Director of the West Tennessee Violent Crime and Drug Task Force.
He said unfortunately just like trucking goods, moving drugs through the Mid-South is common.
The Task Force made up of specially trained officers from agents across the Mid-South work together and can cross judicial lines.
They often make a bust after a traffic stop.
"So within a few moments because of the training these agents have they know if there's something else that needs to be followed up on," explained Helldorfer.
Monitoring I-40, the stops lead to more than drugs.
"We have gotten pedophiles. We've gotten two murder suspects. One in Durham, North Carolina where police were still on the scene of a fresh homicide," he said.
In this case the cocaine wasn't stopping in Memphis, but Helldorfer makes the point you never know when another load might.
"Every time we take something off the street we're helping. There's no doubt, because if you look at the homicides how many of them go back to drugs? Whether your usage and you're under the influence when you commit something or you're fighting over turf war."