I-95 used to traffic illegal drugs and money up the East Coast

Posted at 6:43 PM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-25 18:43:22-04

Tractor-trailers aren't the only vehicles hauling big shipments up and down I-95. Every day, smugglers traffic illegal drugs and dirty money, using the 1,900 mile interstate to shuttle their illicit loads through Maryland.

For decades, the I-95 corridor has been notorious for its role in the American drug trade.

"For a lot of drugs that come in from Atlanta, from Houston, from Dallas, and places further west like Phoenix and California, they'll come over and up 95,” said DEA special agent Todd Edwards.  “Right here is a perfect stopping off point for places like us, Baltimore, which is a consumer city, DC, and New York."

The artery runs from Florida up into Maine, and federal drug officers say they see almost every illegal substance on the roads.

"We've seen cocaine, we've seen heroin, marijuana, ecstasy,” Edwards said.  “Anything that can be transported, whether it's in a car, with a hidden compartment, duffel bag, in trucks, sometimes tractor trailer trucks coming in from Mexico, anything they can think of they'll put it in a car and bring it up here."

Just this weekend, Maryland State Police busted a 67-year-old man from Connecticut who had 124-pounds of pot in the back of a rental van.

Back in June, another routine stop turned up almost half a ton of weed crammed into moving boxes. Both drivers were heading north on the highway.

"95 is a pipeline all up and down the East Coast of the United States," said Maryland State Police First Sgt. Edward Luers.

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MSP and other law enforcement agencies patrol for drug activity, but they can only pull over motorists breaking traffic laws. Then they are on the lookout for suspicious behavior, small red flags that point to who might be a drug mule.

"This is what we do every day, we're not just out there stopping people for speeding or wearing seat belts, we're out there looking for these criminals," Luers said.

Unfortunately, it's a never ending channel.  As long as there's a demand for smack, blow and dope, the smugglers will keep supplying them.

"DEA with our state and local counterparts, we try our best, and I think we do a pretty good job of trying to figure out how the drugs are coming up and the money is going down,” Edwards said.

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