Drug Bust Reveals Underlying Interstate 70 Problem
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Drug Bust Reveals Underlying Interstate 70 Problem

Date: September 1, 2011
By: Jessi Turnure
State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Highway Patrol arrested Arizona citizen Jose Lopez in Callaway County on Wednesday after discovering 132 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle. However, this is a regular occurence on Interstate 70, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Paul Reinsch.

According to a highway patrol officer, the expressway's central location running east to west is a prime outlet for drug traffickers. "Drugs of all kinds are travelling up and down our highways every day," Reinsch said.

Marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin are all natives to Interstate 70. "Heroin has made a little bit of a presence known," Reinsch said. "But it doesn't make a difference. There's all kinds of drugs out there and heroin is just one of many." 

Reinsch said prescription drugs currently frequent mid-Missouri roads the most. "Prescription drugs are the second most popular source of intoxication in Missouri," according to Transformations Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center. The website also said these painkillers and anti-depressants are a trend that is spreading rapidly across the stretch of Missouri.  

Lopez has been charged with possession of marijuana and trafficking drugs. Reinsch said the highway patrol does not know where he was planning on making a sale, but they do know he had full intention of distributing it. The fact Lopez travelled through four states indicates how vital Interstate 70 is to drug traffickers.    

His case will be debated in court since the charge is merely an accusation, not evidence of guilt. Lopez will be held at the Callaway County Jail until then.


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