NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A traffic stop by Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges resulted in four Shreveport men being arrested on drug and weapons charges late Saturday evening.
The suspects - Eddie Lee Cuttliff, 27, Terrance Dimitri DeShard Foster, 24, Tyler Re'Shard Foster, 27, and Jerrod Christopher Jackson, 26 - are still being held in the Nacogdoches County Jail. Each man's collective bail was set at $52,500.
Cuttliff was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance between 1 and 4 grams. Terrance Foster was charged with felony manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, and Tyler Foster was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance between 1 and 400 grams - analogue. Jackson was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance between 1 and 400 grams. All four men were charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon, a Class A misdemeanor.
According to the arrest affidavit, Bridges stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation near the intersection of Loop 224 and Highway 21 West. When he pulled the vehicle over, he noticed that another vehicle appeared to be traveling with the first one.
"I instantly knew in a matter of minutes that the drugs were going to be in the other vehicle, just by the way they were acting," Bridges said.
As sheriff, Bridges doesn't work the nation's busiest drug corridor as much as he once did, but a holiday weekend gave him an opportunity to keep the skills intact.
"I stopped them on a long straightaway, so I watched the other vehicle, and actually watched it turn into the Econo Lodge," Bridges said.
The Nacogdoches County Sheriff stayed with the decoy car, which was occupied by three of the suspects.
Bridges saw the second vehicle pull into the parking lot of the Econo Lodge on Loop 224. A Nacogdoches County Sheriff's deputy made contact with the driver of the second vehicle, who said he was waiting for his friends in the first car.
After the deputy got consent to search the second vehicle, he found a loaded 9mm pistol in the trunk of the car. Further investigation of the trunk revealed a large, Ziplock-style bag containing a large amount of a white, powdery substance, the affidavit stated. The powder tested positive as cocaine, and it weighed a total of 490 grams.
"They found a pound of cocaine in the trunk, and they also found a loaded 9mm handgun," Bridges said. "We ran that gun. It also came back as stolen out of Shreveport."
The driver told the deputy that he didn't know the gun or the drug was in his car. In addition, he told the deputy that he had been in Houston all day with the friends that Bridges stopped.
However, cell phone conversations, text messages, and old-fashioned questioning gave Bridges no doubt at all that all four suspects were working together on hauling the drug from Houston to Shreveport. As a result, Nacogdoches and Shreveport law enforcement agencies are armed with a bit more information.
Bridges said he couldn't go into specifics about the case, but a lot of times, these cases develop into bigger cases, and they could possibly even wind up being federal cases.
The sheriff said he thinks the suspects paid about $15,000 for the cocaine. If it had been processed into crack, the profit would have been twice that amount, Bridges said.