BEAUMONT, Texas — Beaumont Police Department Narcotics Division officers arrested a total of three people and seized $2.8 million worth of drugs in the span of a few days.
They found everything from cocaine to methamphetamine while making two traffic stops within days of each other.
Lieutenant Mike Mills leads the Beaumont Police Department's Narcotics Division.
Mills said "It was a little interesting that we made that large a seizure of cocaine on I-10."
Officers pulled over Shenita Peterson, 41, of Florida, early Friday morning near Smith Road.
After searching her vehicle, officers say they found a whopping 45 kilograms of cocaine, with a street value of $2.7 million. 45 kilograms is 99.2 pounds.
Peterson was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and taken to jail.
Mills said the amount of cocaine was stunning, considering it originates in South America and is more expensive for cartels to bring over to the U.S.
"It's one of the largest, but it's not the largest," Mills said when asked where this seizure ranks in his department in terms of value.
Interstate 10 is a popular route for drug smuggling, according to Mills.
"Primarily it boils down to the numbers and that is, the more traffic stops you make based on traffic infractions observed, the more likely you are to run across somebody who is hauling drugs," Mills said.
Four days after the first traffic stop, Mills' officers found more than $100,000 in crystal methamphetamine and heroin while serving a traffic citation early Tuesday.
Scott Lynch, 58, and Alex Stripling, 29, both of Florida, were arrested and taken to the Jefferson County Jail for possession of a controlled substance.
"If we do it long enough and they do it long enough, you're going to get caught," said Mills. "There's only two outs in the drug world, death or prison."
Police know what they're up against with all the traffic on I-10, but their instincts often pay off.
"Number one, we are realists. We realize we are not going to solve the drug problem in Beaumont, Texas, this week or next week," said Mills. "Everyone needs to know we're actively and proactively looking for it and we're going to find it."
He couldn't say exactly where the cocaine and crystal meth were headed, but stated Houston is a distribution hub for drugs.