HAZEN, Ark. – You never know what you may be passing driving on I-40. Saturday in Hazen, officers found a full trunk load of drugs, and it was all captured on live TV.
The department weighed 148 pounds of marijuana. Chief Bradley Taylor stated the driver was pulled over initially for following too closely, but her suspicious answers and a growing smell turned what could have been a warning into a Class A Felony arrest.
“We pop the trunk and, yeah, it’s all full of marijuana, but we don’t know. It’s like a Christmas present. When you unwrap it Christmas morning, you don’t know what you’re going to get. It could be marijuana, it could be meth amphetamines. It could be fentanyl, cocaine,” Taylor said.
Body and dash cameras show the skunk in the trunk packed to the brim.
The copious amount of cannabis was Hazen Police Department’s largest ever seized in one stop according to Chief Taylor.
K-9 Officer Bosco alerted officers, and when the driver saw the trunk open, her response was quick.
“It’s not mine,” she said.
“Did you drive it?”, Taylor asked.
“Yeah, but it’s not mine,” she replied.
Taylor explained to her in Arkansas when you are driving with it in your possession, you will get charged.
Possession of the puff stuff landed her with a charge for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
Because Interstate 40 from Oklahoma and Interstate 30 from Texas combine from Little Rock to Memphis, Chief Bradley Taylor says they’ve seized over 750 pounds of illegal drugs in the bottleneck so far this year.
“We’ve got these here, and this is probably one out of 1,000 that drove by,” Taylor said.
Arkansas State Police took more than $8.5M worth of drugs off Interstate 40 during July in just two traffic stops.
We asked for year-round numbers from the agency but did not get them as of this report.
In Hazen, their latest seizure is raising awareness far beyond state borders because what was supposed to be one weekend being featured on the TV show On Patrol: Live has turned into three weekends.
Hazen’s high-speed action of chases on I-40 mixed with small-town interactions and humor have landed Arkansas a spot as one of the live agencies at least until the show’s next break in filming live content. And who knows what they will uncover next?
“I guess the nation likes Southern policing,” Taylor said.
He added it takes 500 lbs of marijuana for possession charges to become trafficking charges.