Traffic stop leads to police finding over 80 grams of suspected fentanyl
Knoxville police said a traffic stop led to the arrest of a convicted felon from Detroit.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Officials with the Knoxville Police Department said a traffic stop Friday afternoon of a car with expired Illinois tags on Martin Luther King Drive led to the seizure of over 80 grams of suspected fentanyl packaged for resale.
Officers also said a loaded firearm was found in the car, and a convicted felon from Detroit was arrested on numerous charges.
Back in February, district attorneys from across East Tennessee announced the new ‘313 Initiative.’ It’s named after Detroit’s area code. The initiative is a joint effort by five DA’s, TBI, the DEA, and several other law enforcement agencies to crack down on deadly drugs coming into East Tennessee.
Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen said in the February announcement that ‘313′ relies on traffic stops, drug busts, and search warrants instead of long-term investigations. Those strategies give agencies the ability to work faster. Plus, it takes a proactive approach.
“If you’re coming from Detroit, we’re not going to wait for you to get established, to get your hooks in our community,” Blount County DA Ryan Desmond said during the February news conference. “We’re going to be on the lookout for you the second you come into state jurisdiction.”
Allen said the drug issue escalated in East Tennessee in the mid 2010′s, and the drugs are getting more dangerous.
“The fentanyl has gotten even more potent,” Karen Pershing said, Executive Director for the Metro Drug Coalition. “There are a lot more fentanyl analogs out there on the street. And again, just a few grains of salt can sometimes cause an overdose death.”
Allen said cleaning up drugs in East Tennessee could also lead to the reduction of several other violent crimes since they’re often connected.
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