Million Dollars in Cocaine Found In MS

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Southaven police found $1.2 million worth of cocaine, hidden in a secret compartment of a car, stopped on I-55 Thursday night.

Offices say it's one of the biggest interstate drug busts they've made.

7 kilo's of cocaine were found hidden behind the rear bumper of a grand prix.

Southaven Police Officer, Kyle Hodge showed how all 7 fit sideways behind the false compartment.

Hodge says, "to remove the cocaine, yes, we had to get wrenches out, take the lights out, take the bumper half way off."

While Hodge helped with the bust, it was actually Southaven K-9 Sgt. Lance Shepard who stopped the car for a missing tag light. Shepard was the one who found the hidden compartment.

Investigators say the cocaine was vacuum sealed in an effort to hide its scent from K-9's, but in this case, the drug dog wasn't needed. Hodge says officers are trained to find hidden compartments and have found drugs just about everywhere.

He says, "The bumpers, behind fenders, under seats, in seats, engine compartments, inside tires, welded to the wheels".

Now, 20-year old Jose Valle-Tellez, 24-year old Rhonda Millsap and 24-year old Elias Salgado Hernandez are charged with felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Hodge says the methods in which smugglers try to hide drugs, are constantly evolving and they're constantly trying to stay ahead of the game.

He says, "From building false compartments attaching them to vehicles to using natural voids, building compartments in 18 wheelers...They're trying to get the drugs to a destination where they can sell them and we're trying to intercept them along the way."

No bond was set for any of the suspects. They're being held in the DeSoto county jail and are expected to be transferred to federal court next week.

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