Two Arrested, 115 Pounds of Pot Seized in I-10 Bust
By Dwayne Bremer
Feb 1, 2013, 18:30
Hancock County deputies on Tuesday discovered 115 pounds of marijuana hidden in a truck's gas tank after a traffic stop on I-10.
Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said Friday that two Texas men, Taylor Sharrat, 33, and Oleg Papusha, 41, both of Houston, were arrested in connection with the dope.
Hancock County Narcotics Commander Jeremy Skinner said Friday that a deputy stopped a Ford F-250 at the east-bound 12 mile-marker Tuesday at about 8 p.m.
Sharrat was the driver of the vehicle and Papusha was the passenger, Skinner said.
Deputies received consent to search the vehicle and discovered a small amount of marijuana inside, Skinner said.
Upon further investigation, he said, deputies learned that there may be additional drugs hidden inside the gas tank.
Sharrat was arrested on suspicion of DUI and the vehicle was taken back to the sheriff's office for further investigation.
Later in the evening, deputies discovered several packaged bricks of marijuana stashed inside the gas tank, Skinner said.
Skinner said the marijuana was also wrapped in plastic bags to guard it from the gasoline.
He said there was only enough room in the gas tank for about eight to ten gallons of gas.
"They were making frequent stops at the gas station," Skinner said.
Sharrat and Papusha were charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Skinner said the street value for a pound of marijuana runs between $500 and $800, depending on the quality of the product.
The investigation into the case is still ongoing and additional charges are possible, Skinner said.