Auburn Police intercept drug trafficking

By Chris Vessell  bio | email

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - A minor traffic violation on Interstate 85 turned into a major drug bust on Sunday. Auburn Police pulled over a pick-up truck around 2:30 p.m. near mile marker 53 for following too close. "Their mouths got very dry, it was hard for them to speak at times, they were just very, very nervous. It raised our suspicion that they possibly had something illegal inside the vehicle," said Cpl. Jimmy Butler, Auburn Police.

Butler and Sgt. Willie Sanford made the traffic stop. The odd behavior of the two men inside, prompted the officers to search the truck, and that's where they found 50 lbs. of marijuana. "This marijuana was packaged and wrapped in mustard, which is something we haven't seen. We've heard about it happening, but locally it's the first time we've seen them go to that extreme to keep from alerting canines that it's marijuana," Assistant Chief Tommy Dawson, Auburn Police said.

Dawson believes the drugs may have been en route from Houston to Atlanta. Dawson says it's not uncommon for drugs to be distributed from major metropolitan areas. "If you broke it down and sold it on the street level, it could be well over $150,000 worth of marijuana. So we're happy to remove this from the streets of Auburn, and put two drug traffickers in jail," Dawson said.

Jose Manuel Perez Vazquez, age 33, of New Orleans and Muriano Guerrero Najera, age 41, of Houston are charged with trafficking marijuana. The two men are being held in the Lee County Detention Center on a $150,000 bond. The two drug suspects could face three years to life in prison if convicted.