MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Three men are behind bars after more than 20 pounds of fentanyl was seized on I-40 Thursday morning, the West Tennessee Drug Task Force announced.
It all started when Criminal Interdiction Agents stopped a 2011 Nissan Maxima on the interstate near the Shelby/Fayette County line for displaying a false Texas temporary tag and failure to exercise due care.
During the traffic stop, agents searched the vehicle and found 22 pounds of fentanyl hidden inside a couch cushion that was being used as a pillow by one of the suspects in the backseat.
Drug Task Force Director Johnie Carter said the drugs have a street value of nearly $1 million in powder form, but could sell for as much as $220 million in pill form. This is reportedly the task force’s largest fentanyl bust to date.
Ervin Ortega-Zalaya and Jose Zelaya from Texas and Jonathan Zelaya of Lexington, Kentucky, were arrested. They are currently in the Fayette County jail awaiting bond.