A stop to check a wreck on an NC highway turns into a drug bust, deputies say

·1 min read

An attempt to help a Charlotte driver who wrecked on Interstate 40 turned into an arrest and the seizure of nearly 50 pounds of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia, a North Carolina sheriff’s office said.

Marshall Earlie Hackett III, 51, wrecked his white SUV into highway safety median cables while traveling west, according to an Iredell County Sheriff’s Office statement. A sheriff’s deputy checked on Hackett and asked if he’d suffered any injuries, where he was going and if he’d been drinking. Hackett gave inconsistent answers, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Other deputies in the sheriff’s Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team arrived on the scene. The ACE Team Unit assists with traffic enforcement and drug investigations, according to the Sheriff’s Office website.

Canine deputy Brandi signaled a positive alert, the Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies then searched Hackett’s vehicle and found 46.6 pounds of marijuana in individual, vacuum-sealed packages inside two suitcases and a duffle bag, the Sheriff’s Office said. Drug paraphernalia commonly used in marijuana sales, and $4,820 in cash also were found, the statement said.

Hackett was arrested and taken to the Iredell County Detention Center where he was charged with felony trafficking marijuana by possession, felony trafficking marijuana by transport, felony possession of marijuana, felony maintain a dwelling, vehicle or place for the sale or use of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of marijuana drug paraphernalia.

He was issued a $200,000 secured bond.

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