Stupid behavior in rental cars happens around the world. On multiple occasions, our series has highlighted Florida (of course), Kansas, and Pennsylvania. Now, the mid-south gets a repeat after the features of "Upside Down in a Sinkhole" and "Woman Calls Cops on Boyfriend in Stolen Rental Car and Gets Arrested Herself". This story is more mundane -- it starts with a traditional traffic stop in a rental car and ends with 47.5 pounds of cocaine. And the two individuals from Toledo, Ohio, caught in Dickson County, Tennessee, are now going to be on a legal rollercoaster (not a love rollercoaster). Say what!
The Tennessee Highway Patrol made a traffic stop of Joseph Martinez (driver) and William Jones (passenger) due to a simple traffic infraction. You see, while it's still perfectly legal for a passenger in Tennessee to actively drink adult beverages, it is a legal requirement that any passenger has to wear a seatbelt. We reached out to the THP about the reason for the original traffic stop as none of the "news sources" had done so but again; if Jones has worn his seat belt, the traffic stop never would have occurred!
Unfortunately for Martinez and Jones, the trooper that made the traffic stop happened to be on the state's drug Interdiction Plus (I-Plus) team. Looking beyond the ticket, the trooper saw signs of deception/distress and didn't feel things were right, so he requested a warrant to search the vehicle after the driver said "no". However, it was also discovered that Jones (the passenger) already had a possible full-extradition warrant back to Ohio. Jones -- already facing certain arrest and extradition -- inexplicably allowed the troopers to investigate his bags while waiting for the warrant to search the car itself. And after finding the 20 kilos of cocaine, it was clear that both were headed to custody! Voluntarily giving up the 47.5 pounds of drugs sort of makes a search warrant moot!
Martinez and Jones were arrested and the State of Tennessee happily shipped Jones back to Ohio to take care of that warrant; besides, the feds (we make federal cases out of cocaine trafficking in Tennessee) will still be waiting for Jones after his Ohio case is cleared up. And despite all the bad choices made here, we just have one remaining question. Was the rental car in question white?
Ready to rent your next car? We're certain you will stay out of trouble! Click below to request a quote and we'll send the best possible offers within minutes!