Police said they found large vacuum seal bags that contained suspected crystal methamphetamine residue and $29,000 in a pickup truck pulled over for speeding in Oliver Springs on Tuesday.
Also found in the vehicle were tracking numbers, numerous shipping envelopes and rubber bands, addresses, documents related to the sale of controlled substances, deposit slips, and packing tape, said Oak Ridge Police Department Officer John Wilson, an investigator with the Seventh Judicial Crime Task Force in Anderson County.
The defendant, James Phillip Chase, 53, of Dutch Valley Road, has been charged with money laundering, simple possession of a Schedule II drug (methamphetamine), and speeding. He remained jailed in the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton early Saturday morning.
“Through prior felony drug case investigations and arrests directly involving James Chase, investigators have learned that Chase utilizes mail and shipping companies to obtain controlled substances,” Wilson said in an arrest warrant.
He said those cases resulted in the seizure of numerous pounds of marijuana, about 270 Schedule II tablets, and about $50,000.
“Additionally, the defendant, James Chase, uses financial institutions and shipping businesses to maneuver these criminally derived proceeds,” Wilson said. “These proceeds are used with the intent to carry on and promote the unlawful activity of distributing controlled substances.”
The traffic stop for speedingâ€”Chase was allegedly driving at 70 mph in a 45 mph zoneâ€”occurred at about 4 p.m. Tuesday on Tri County Boulevard in Oliver Springs. After the stop, Oliver Springs Police Department Patrol Officer Shannon Runyan requested a K-9 unit. Ben Haines, an ORPD K-9 officer, responded. The K-9 alerted on the gray Nissan Frontier pickup truck, which had a Utah registration, court records said.
Runyan said Chase was very angry, admitted to driving too fast, and was very hostile to him, using expletives.
A records check showed Chase had an active warrant for assault in Anderson County, Runyan said, and he was placed into custody. After the dog “alerted” on the pickup truck, police found a large amount of cash located in a luggage bag, and they found several containers with hidden compartments, the OSPD officer said.
Agents from the Seventh Judicial Crime Task Force and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration were called to the scene.
Also listed as a witness in the warrants is Thomas Bolling of the ORPD.