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142 Pounds of Pot Seized on I-65 Near Saturn Parkway

Thursday, January 25, 2007 | 06:00pm

Nashville, Tennessee — A Tennessee State Trooper stopped an 18-wheeler reported stolen out of Houston, Texas, Wednesday afternoon and ended up seizing approximately 142 pounds of marijuana in eight large bundles.

On January 25th at approximately 4:30 p.m., Trooper Charles McVey, an 11-year veteran of the THP, stopped a tanker-trailer on I-65 at mile marker 52 in Maury County.  The tanker had been placed out of service for inspection, but on Wednesday, the Tampa-based trucking company, Quality Carriers, reported it stolen.  The trucking company tracked the vehicle by GPS.

Upon stopping the suspect vehicle, Trooper McVey used his air horn and motioned for the driver to exit the cab and move to the rear of the tanker.  After searching the subject, Trooper McVey placed the driver in the back seat of his cruiser.  The driver indicated that important information on the trucking company he worked for was in his mobile phone in the cab of the truck.  During a subsequent search of the truck cab, Trooper McVey found two large bundles of marijuana in the sleeper berth.   At that time, the subject was taken into custody.

A follow-up search uncovered six more bundles of marijuana in storage and canvas bags.  In all, eight bundles, weighing approximately 15 to 20 pounds each, were seized in accordance with state law.  The drugs carry an estimated street value of $200,000.

The driver, 36-year old Shawn O’Keith Coleman of Richmond, Texas, is charged with possession of a Schedule Six drug for sale or delivery and two counts of theft of property–one for more than $10,000 for the trailer, and over $60,000 for the tractor.  Coleman is being held in the Maury County Jail on $2-million bond.  More than $1,000 in cash was also seized from the stolen truck in accordance with state law.

The D-E-A has been notified of the large marijuana seizure.  Investigators believe the shipment was heading to Indiana.

The Tennessee Department of Safety (www.tennessee.gov/safety) is responsible for ensuring the safety and general welfare of the traveling public.  The department’s general areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education and motorist services including the issuance of driver licenses.  The department and its highly trained staff of Troopers are responsible for safety on more than 15,000 miles of state and federal highways.

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