Although many drug busts occur after federal and state authorities have conducted a thorough investigation, some individuals are caught after simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Earlier this month, a man who allegedly was traveling from Colorado to North Carolina was busted for drug possession after a routine traffic stop in Cookeville, Tennessee.
On Feb. 18, the 20-year-old man was pulled over around 11 a.m. on I-40. The state trooper who pulled the man over said that the 1998 Saturn was following another vehicle on the interstate too closely. As the Tennessee trooper was approaching the vehicle, he reported that he could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The trooper then asked the driver if he could search the rest of the vehicle, but the driver denied the request.
After the driver refused to allow the trooper to search the 1998 Saturn, the Tennessee trooper called for backup. Several other troopers arrived at the scene with a trained dog. The vehicle was thoroughly searched and officers found jars of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, LSD, ecstasy, cocaine and hash oil. After finding the drugs, authorities arrested the driver and seized the vehicle. The man now faces charges of possessing drugs for resale.
In Tennessee, possession charges can become a felony if the state can prove that the drugs were intended for resale or distribution. Typically, the court determines if the charge should be a felony depending on the amount of drugs seized in the bust, what sort of paraphernalia was discovered during the bust and if large amounts of money was present at the scene. Felony crimes carry a harsher penalties than misdemeanor crimes, but experienced defense attorneys can help clients best protect their rights when charged with a serious drug offense.
Cookeville Herald Citizen: "Routine stop turns into big drug bust," Mary Jo Denton, 21 Feb. 2011