I-55 Drug Bust

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A pick-up truck was filled with over 500 pounds of marijuana after a traffic stop on I-55 last week. The evidence was transported to the crime lab for analysis. Photo provided

MHP finds drugs in I-55 traffic stop

By Billy Davis

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A Mississippi state trooper who pulled over a tractor-trailer on Interstate 55 found more than a load of fruit in the trailer.

Inside the boxes of grapefruit, the state trooper, aided by two Panola sheriff’s deputies, discovered bundles of marijuana scattered throughout the load. Authorities later counted 61 bundles of marijuana that together weighed 545 pounds.

The estimated street value is more than $500,000.

The traffic stop was made Friday morning north of Como in the northbound lane, said the trooper, who asked to remain anonymous due to the danger involved in narcotics trafficking.

“Somewhere there’s a drug cartel that’s not very happy,” he said.

The trooper said he initiated the stop for careless driving, then asked for consent to search. The driver consented, and two deputies, who perform drug interdiction for the sheriff’s department, were called to help with the traffic stop.

After the traffic stop, authorities parked the truck at the highway patrol headquarters in Batesville, where a forklift was used to unload the fruit boxes and marijuana.

The bundles were then loaded into the bed of a pickup truck and hauled to the state crime lab, also located at the headquarters. 

The tractor-trailer sported Texas plates. 

The arrest log at the Panola County jail recorded the arrest of Robert Cerda Jr. of San Juan, Texas.