ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - During a weekend traffic stop, deputies located $1.5 million worth of heroin traveling into St. Tammany Parish, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Late Saturday afternoon, deputies with the STPSO Highway Enforcement Unit stopped two vehicles that were travelling together eastbound on Interstate 12. The drivers of the two vehicles, both "nonresident aliens," provided deputies with vague explanations of a beach vacation, but their stories did not add up, according to Sheriff Randy Smith.
Deputies and two K-9s searched both vehicles, uncovering 7.6 pounds of pure heroin hidden inside one of the vehicles. Smith said this is the largest single seizure in parish history with a street value of approximately $1.5 million. A post-stop investigation led deputies to believe the drugs were not just passing through but were destined for sale in St. Tammany Parish.
Both drivers were arrested and are being held on a $750,000 bond for possession and conspiracy to distribute heroin as well as the traffic violations.
"With the abuse of heroin and the lethal overdoses that occur every day in the United States, this undoubtedly was a significant amount of heroin that was interdicted from hitting the streets of St. Tammany," Smith said. "Last year alone, this parish saw 80 deaths from heroin overdoses. I am sending this message now; I will not tolerate individuals bringing this deadly drug into our community."