More than $2M worth of drugs found during traffic stop on Hwy. 60 near Ellsinore

Published: Dec. 19, 2016 at 5:30 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2016 at 3:45 PM CST
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Lowell Johnson (Source: Carter County Sheriff)
Lowell Johnson (Source: Carter County Sheriff)
(Source: Carter County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Carter County Sheriff's Office)

CARTER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A Metropolis, Illinois man who was arrested during a traffic stop in Carter County, Missouri after sheriff's deputies recovered hundreds of pounds of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine is facing multiple drug charges.

According to Carter County Sheriff Richard Stephens, Lowell E. Johnson, 57, of Metropolis, was pulled over on Nov. 30 on US Highway 60 for speeding. Ellsinore police officer Cody Newman said Johnson was clocked at driving 63 mph in 55 mph zone.

Officer Newman then said after stopping Johnson, he detected a strong odor consistent with that of marijuana coming from within the vehicle. Upon further investigation and a search of the vehicle, a total of 873.5 pounds of a green leafy substance which tested positive as being marijuana, 2.4 pounds of a white powdery substance which tested positive as being cocaine and 12.45 pounds of a Chrystal-like substance which tested positive as being methamphetamine, were found in Johnson's vehicle.

The street value of the recovered drugs is estimated at around $2.4 million.

Carter County Sheriff Rick Stephens said this is the largest drug bust he's ever seen, possibly the largest in his county.

Johnson and a female passenger were arrested and taken to the Carter County Sheriff's Office and placed on 24-hold for possession/distribution of a controlled substance. Johnson waived his rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present.

Johnson has been charged with second-degree drug trafficking and delivery and/or manufacturing of a controlled substance.

Upon speaking with members of the South Central Drug Task Force, Johnson said he had 900 pounds of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine inside the vehicle.

According to court documents, he told authorities he picked up the drugs in Arizona and planned to sell them to multiple locations in Missouri and Illinois.

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