A fake child abduction call was meant to distract state troopers from a car packed with 130 pounds of marijuana, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
It didn’t work.
The incident happened Friday in the Cooper County area near Columbia, where the state troopers tweeted about a possible abduction. Authorities were told that a father had stopped on Interstate 70 to change his tire. State troopers said a man pulled up to assist, then fled with his 10-year-old daughter.
A ground and air search began in the area, but about 30 minutes after posting about the abduction, the highway patrol said the call was determined to be fake.
Prior to the reported kidnapping, two men had been pulled over by state troopers on the interstate for a traffic violation, police said. The passenger called 911 to report the fake kidnapping “to distract (the) trooper from finding their 130 pounds of marijuana,” according to the highway patrol.
The marijuana was found in the trunk of the vehicle, shown in a photo police shared on Twitter.
The driver, 39-year-old James Clark, of Vidalia, Georgia, and passenger, Nathaniel Bandy, 41, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, were arrested and face charges of second-degree felony trafficking, according to authorities. Bandy also faces a charge of misuse of a 911 call.
They were placed in the Saline County Jail Friday afternoon and remained incarcerated Saturday, jail records show.