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A multi-agency narcotics investigation involving state and local law enforcement agencies in Tennessee came to an end on Sept. 1 when a 30-year-old man was taken into custody during a traffic stop. The arrest was announced on Sept. 2 by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office. The SCSO was assisted during the operation by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Second Judicial District Drug Task Force and the Kingsport Police Department.

Suspect identified during earlier investigations

According to the SCSO, the Nashville resident was identified as a possible heroin distributor during previous drug investigations. Police decided to take action after learning that the man and an alleged accomplice could be planning to transport drugs from Nashville to Kingston. The vehicle the two suspects were using was pulled over by THP troopers on the northbound lanes of Interstate 81 near the Interstate 26 exit. A search was ordered after a K9 unit allegedly alerted while sniffing the air around the car.

Minor drug seizure

During the vehicle search, investigators claim to have found drug paraphernalia, a single gram of cocaine and undisclosed quantities of prescription drugs and the overdose medication Narcan. When the man was transported to an area jail, a bag containing 30 grams of heroin was allegedly found on his person. He has been charged with possessing Schedule I, II and IV controlled substances, taking contraband into a correctional facility and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may study the timeline carefully when drug charges are based on seizures made during traffic stops with K9 units involved. This is because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that prolonging traffic stops just so that police dogs can be summoned to the scene violates rights against unreasonable search and seizure guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.