Officials have reported that a traffic stop on June 25 led to the seizure of significant quantities of fentanyl and heroin and the arrest of two California men. Agents from the West Tennessee Judicial Violent Crime and Drug Task Force believe the drugs were smuggled into the country from Mexico and that the two men were on their way to Nashville when their car was pulled over. They both face a raft of felony narcotics counts and are being held at the Shelby County Jail. Their bonds have been set at $1 million.
The events unfolded on Interstate 40 near the Shelby County line. Agents say that they decided to initiate a traffic stop after observing a Mercedes sedan with what appeared to be illegal window tinting. The officials say they became suspicious after speaking with the car’s two occupants and summoned a K9 unit to the scene. The police decided to search the car after the police dog reportedly alerted while sniffing the air around the vehicle.
During the search, officials say they discovered a space in the Mercedes that had been converted into a concealed storage compartment. Inside this compartment, agents allegedly found 5 pounds of fentanyl and about 1 pound of heroin. Agents also claim to have discovered approximately 2,500 pills that are believed to be either oxycodone or a mixture of oxycodone and fentanyl. Prosecutors say that the seized drugs could have killed every resident of Shelby County several times over.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may question the legality of the search when presented with facts like these in a case involving drug offenses. This is because the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that police violate Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure when they delay traffic stops for no good reason other than to give K9 units time to reach the scene. A criminal defense attorney may review the case to determine whether a defendant’s rights were indeed violated.