Cheatham County suspect caught with hollowed out Bible intended to smuggle drugs

Crime Tracker

CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – An Oregon native recently living in Nashville is behind bars in Cheatham County facing several drug-related charges.

Isaiah MacMenami is charged with possession with intent to sell a variety of illegal narcotics that he had secured in a metal lock box in his car.

According to Cheatham County drug agents, the 40-year-old suspect also had a Bible with a secret compartment. The father of young twin sons admitted he planned to use it to smuggle drugs.

The Bible secret compartment is a trick often seen in TV shows and movies, and it is a first for a grizzled an under cover Cheatham County agent, who told News 2 he’s worked a lot of dope cases in his 15 years, but never before has he actually confiscated a Bible with a hole cut into the pages to hide contraband.

MacMenami said, “What you haven’t seen that in movies? Yeah, I didn’t have anything in there, I didn’t even get the chance. I just had it in the car and they locked on to it big time, they are like, ‘Oooh, he’s hollowing out Bibles.’ I’m like, ‘alright.'”

It all happened on June 14 when drug officers saw his black Nissan leaving a well known drug area. Agents made a traffic stop for a window tint violation that MacMenami claimed he darkened on his own.

The 40-year-old told News 2 he was only in town a short time and was on his way to Walmart when he got busted.

“They were quick. I was in town, like an hour, and I was already in jail,” MacMenami said.

MacMenami told officers he was on drug probation out of Nashville. When asked for permission to check his car, he declined, but agents ran a K9 around the vehicle. The dog alerted on the passenger side door, which is where drug agents found contraband, THC vials, and paraphernalia.

Agents also found a metallic lock box with a combination. MacMenami told officers he knew the combination, but claimed he didn’t know what was inside the box.

Once open, officers found multiple sealed packages and containers of meth, heroin, ecstasy, cocaine and even Viagra.

When asked about all the drugs in his possession, MacMenami said, “Yeah, people were trading stuff for ice. Yes, people want ice, and they say, ‘I got a couple of these, what would you do, man?’ Honestly I didn’t sell much, I just did it to party with people.”

“When you are on drugs, you find ways to waste time, and I was in a hotel room one day, and I was like ‘there’s a Gideon’s Bible’ and I’m like ‘lets hollow it out cause I saw it in a movie one time.'”

The drug agent who made the arrest said the hollowed out Bible trick is a first for him.

“I’ve never seen one in person up to this date, and I’ve been doing this like 15 years. I do not think it was very moralistic. It’s definitely one of a kind, a unique find.”

MacMenami said he has had a drug dependency. He said it is the reason he is in jail and the reason many bad things have happened in his life.

“Honestly, I always thought drugs, you can choose to stop, but after a while, it’s the way. I’ve been doing them 10 years.”

He also blamed people’s drug addictions on small towns like Ashland City, where he says there is nothing else to do.

“I look at people like this, there’s nothing for people to do. There’s a Walmart and a jail. And there’s nothing for people to do. What should you do with your time to feel alive here? It’s why people turn to drugs so they don’t feel so depressed with what the world is coming to.”

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When told he did have a Bible and he could have spent that time reading it, the drug offender stopped, laughed and said, “Yeah, I did.”

MacMenami is in jail on felony drug charges under a $75,000 bond.

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