Highway drug busts are fairly common in Miss. - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Highway drug busts are fairly common in Miss.

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
RICHLAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A man is in the Rankin County Jail after Richland police found a whole lot of marijuana in his 18-wheeler - 528 pounds to be exact!

He was pulled over for careless driving on Highway 49 and police say it's actually pretty common for drug busts to happen on the highways. An officer will pull someone over for a normal infraction, and their years of training and experience help them to identify when someone seems suspicious.

Think about it, if you're pulled over for speeding, you're going to be nervous about getting a ticket. If you're pulled over for speeding AND you have drugs in the car, odds are you're going to be acting pretty shifty, and police will definitely take notice.

"You take 80% of the crime, and you can attribute it to drug use in one form of another," said Detective Chris Picou with the Pearl Police Department.

For police in Mississippi, catching drug mules on normal traffic stops is nothing new, but the criminals are getting more clever about the business, finding new ways and new places to smuggle drugs.

"That's the kind of stuff we run into, where it's concealed in gas tanks and tires and guard rails. I mean, you're imagination - they can put it anywhere," added Detective Picou. "This is tens of thousands of dollars that are found in hidden compartments, things of that nature."

Interstate 20 is a hot-spot for catching people this way. Police say you have to move the drugs somehow, and that means driving on highways.

"A lot of times of course you have legitimate businesses," said Richland Police Chief Russell James. "Yesterday when they arrested that guy, he's an owner/operator of a tractor trailer hauling strawberries for a reputable vendor." 

And you might think if someone knew they were carrying illegal substances, they would drive impeccably. But police say people get so nervous, it makes them mess up.

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