Drug agents bust cross-country drug ring in Tennessee

Courtesy: 18th Judicial Drug Task Force

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A cross-country drug ring is out of business after the 18th Judicial Drug Task Force intercepted a load of marijuana headed for the mid-state.

Agents said the suspects were using fake compartments to hide their contraband and Airbnbs to avoid detection by law enforcement.

When detectives caught a young couple from Colorado in December 2016, they were holding $61,000 in cash and 70 pounds of pot, according to authorities.

Drug agents said delivering drugs to customers across the country was their full-time job.

Jordan Jeffrey and Jessica Vanderpool are accused of routinely driving a modified flatbed work truck to a California marijuana farm near Lake Tahoe.

That’s where authorities said the couple allegedly purchased hundreds of pounds of high-grade marijuana and vacuum sealed it before hiding it in the truck with secret compartments and sliding flat beds.

Courtesy: 18th Judicial Drug Task Force

“There’s no telling how much they paid for this bed to be manufactured for this truck,” an agent told News 2.

Narcotics detectives said the smugglers shoved their specially-packaged pot in 13-inch wide slots and then pulled it out on a string. The truck could reportedly hold up to 100 pounds of marijuana.

Authorities said once the truck was loaded down with pot and THC for vape pens, Jeffrey and Vanderpool allegedly drove across the country, delivering drugs in multiple states.

“California to Tennessee where they made stops and drop off and meeting other clientele,” the agent said.

Authorities also said the couple’s goal was to make $1 million in tax-free cash and then retire.

Reportedly, the Colorado couple was halfway there when they met members of the 18th Judicial Drug Task Force, who busted them at an Airbnb on Elvira Street in East Nashville.

“This organization was using the Airbnbs for a cover for their narcotics ring,” the agent explained. “They blend in more to the community, the homeowners don’t bother about certain check-in times or check-out times.”

Courtesy: 18th Judicial Drug Task Force

Drug agents said Airbnb homes often have privacy fences and garages to conceal operations. They also have multiple rooms to operate and neighbors don’t often think twice about multiple cars coming and going.

The couple is accused of using the Nashville Airbnb to meet two people from Chattanooga, who reportedly purchased 30 pounds of pot before getting busted.

In all, drug agents seized $61,000 in cash and 70 pounds of marijuana. News 2 has learned the man who owns the home was interviewed and cleared of any wrongdoing.

Jeffrey and Vanderpool were booked into the Sumner County jail on $1 million bonds and have since been released.

It’s unclear when they will return to Middle Tennessee for court proceedings.

“Keeping our Tennessee community safe is the most important thing we do,” says an official with Airbnb. “There have been more than 200 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date and negative incidents are extremely rare. We banned these guests when these arrests took place and we reached out to the police to cooperate.”