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I-40 traffic stop turns into drug bust

A woman that was stopped on I-40 is now facing drug-trafficking charges after lethal amount found in a battery.
Credit: Fayette County Sheriff's office

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Texas woman who was stopped on I-40 on a traffic violation early Wednesday is facing drug-trafficking charges after officers found a lethal mix of heroin and fentanyl hidden in a battery inside her vehicle.

Johnie Carter, director of the West Tennessee Drug Task Force (WTDTF), said 30-year-old Bereniz Cavazos was driving a 2017 Ford Explorer when she was stopped at 2:45 a.m. Wednesday on I-40 at the 31 mile marker in Fayette County.

“The agents are always on alert,” Carter said. “They train hard and they work hard to professionally interdict illegal drugs being moved through West Tennessee, therefore I am proud of this seizure.”

Carter said that when Task Force officers developed reasonable suspicion that Cavazos was involved in criminal activity, K9 Romik was deployed and alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle.

Officers located a battery in the vehicle that had obvious signs of tampering and inside the battery they discovered 11½ pounds of a heroin-fentanyl mix.

2 milligrams of fentanyl can cause a fatal overdose, meaning that the seized shipment was enough to kill more than 2½ million people.

Carter said it is believed the contraband was being taken to Ohio from Mercedes, Texas. Cavazos was taken to the Fayette County Jail.

The WTDTF operates by joint agreement in the 28th, 29th and 30th Judicial Districts and also includes members from the Fayette, Haywood and Tipton County Sheriff’s Departments and the Memphis and Germantown Police Departments.

Fayette County, which is in the 25th Judicial District, includes about 15 miles of I-40.