Two Arrested with Kilo of Cocaine on I-40 Near Cookeville

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 | 06:00pm

Nashville, Tennessee — A North Carolina man and a Mexican national are in custody on drug charges after a State Trooper stopped a motorist for speeding on I-40 near Cookeville.

Trooper Chris Adams observed a 2002 Ford F-150 pickup traveling at 85 mph in a 70 mph zone westbound on  I-40 near mile marker 285.   Upon making the stop, the male driver admitted he did not have a driver license and the passenger admitted he was the owner.

A subsequent search of the pick-up, with help from a Putnam County deputy, uncovered one kilo of cocaine concealed in a trash bag and wrapped in a blanket in the back seat of the extend cab.  The estimated street value of the cocaine is between $6,000 and $8,000.

The driver, 19 year-old Fernando Gomez Rios, a Mexican national with a Mexican identification, is charged with felony possession of cocaine and driving while unlicensed.  The passenger, 34-year-old Juan Antonio Santos of North Carolina, is charged with felony possession of cocaine and allowing an unlicensed driver to drive.  Both suspects were booked into the Putnam County Jail.

The vehicle and the cocaine were seized in accordance with state law.

The Tennessee Department of 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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