Federal agents seize $2.5 million worth of cocaine and methamphetamine

By Terri Hill | October 25, 2018

Federal authorities seized over 122 pounds of methamphetamine and 10 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $2.5 million, during an early Sunday morning traffic stop in Porterville.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court on Oct. 22, federal drug agents observed Durrell James, of Fairmont, West Virginia, park near a tractor trailer with California tags in the back of a gas station in Portersville.

Jones was observed circling the parking lot of the Pilot truck stop on New Castle Road and dropping his female passenger off. He then drove to the rear of the plaza where tractor trailers were parked.

Agents observed Jones as he parked his Kia Sedan next to the tractor trailer.  After opening his trunk and making movements to the rear of his vehicle, he drove the car onto Interstate 79 where a trooper stopped him for a traffic violation.

During questioning Jones and his female passenger, identified in court documents as Shanice Howard, told the trooper they were visiting the area and lived in Erie. However, they provided contradictory statements concerning how long they planned to stay in the area.

After Jones provided his name and date of birth, police were able to determine that he had an active warrant out of Michigan, and has an extensive criminal past with convictions in five states, including one felony drug conviction.

A search of the Kia revealed that the methamphetamine and cocaine were hidden in the trunk, in four separate duffle-type bags.

U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said, “This is the largest seizure of methamphetamine in the history of western Pennsylvania. Through the hard work of our federal, state and local partners, over 122 pounds of methamphetamine and 10 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $2.5 million, have been taken off the street. We have disrupted a major narcotics trafficking organization.”

Jones was ordered detained without bail and if convicted faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and possibly life.

Terri Hill can be contacted at terri.hill@grantstreetnews.com

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