Routine checkpoint leads to $2.5 million drug bust


WAYNE COUNTY, Miss - The Wayne County Sheriff's department found $2.5 million worth of cocaine during a rural checkpoint.

Wayne county Sheriff Jody Ashley says they received pertinent information that a big amount of drugs would be entering into the county.

In the last two weeks Sheriff Ashley has been setting up check points on interstate highways and back roads to stop the drugs.

"I am pretty sure they know drug interdiction units are out on the interstate so they decided to take the back roads" Sheriff Ashley says.

Wednesday afternoon they stopped two Mexican citizens, Penaloza Sanchez, 22, and MaBerenice Benitez-Jaramillo, 25, disguised as construction workers on Strengthford Myrick Rd.

The department found cocaine hidden in plastic containers filled with sheetrock plaster. The majority of the cocaine was placed in a water tank heater.

Sheriff Ashley says, "This is the first time I seen it in a hot water heater, the way they designed it, I think it would kind of been hard for a dog to detect because it was covered in plaster. I am probably thinking they put it there and nobody would detect it."

There was a second vehicle following the truck, the Jones County Sheriff's K9 detected drugs in the car.

"The dog hit on the vehicle, we did not find any, but we feel like its been in that vehicle" Sheriff Ashley says.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is now taking over the case.

"I do know where it was headed and there is still an investigation. DEA is involved now, this is a federal case, so we expect more arrests" Sheriff Ashley says. Sheriff Ashley continues to investigate with the DEA to freeze the drug dealers' bank accounts.

Sheriff Ashley mentions that this was a joint effort with the Jones County Sheriff's department as the drugs were found in the county line.

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