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Police: 3 kids found locked in back of U-Haul carrying drugs

A U-Haul truck sits in front of a U-Haul store January 23, 2003. Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

NEWPORT, Tenn. — Authorities say three children have been rescued from the back of a U-Haul truck that was carrying drugs in Tennessee, and three North Carolinians have been charged in the case.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol told reporters Monday that a bystander called authorities last week to report seeing children being locked in the truck at the I-40 446 Welcome Center in Cocke County. A trooper pulled over the U-Haul and asked if anyone was in the back to which the driver replied in the affirmative.

That’s when the trooper found a one-year-old, five-year-old and eight-year-old locked in the back.

Temperatures hovered in the low 90s.

Authorities say troopers then noticed the smell of drugs coming from the vehicle. Authorities say a passenger surrendered some marijuana and an ensuing vehicle search uncovered crystal meth, cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Eric Larue, Lakiza Williams, and Willie Green Jr. were all arrested on charges including child endangerment.

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