30 pound pot deal ends in 2 arrests

30 pound pot deal ends in 2 arrests
Jimmy Lee Duke (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)
Jimmy Lee Duke (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A months-long investigation ended with Jonesboro police arresting two men and seizing more than 30 pounds of marijuana.

According to the initial incident report, just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, undercover agents witnessed Jimmy Lee Duke, 70, of Kennett meet Sands Cooper Wheeler, 50, of Paragould in the parking lot of the Mall at Turtle Creek, 3000 E. Highland.

After getting out of their vehicles, agents said Duke removed a large black suitcase from the trunk of his car and handed it to Wheeler who then placed it in the back of his pickup truck.

Upon witnessing the transaction, the agent called for a K9 team to stop the men.

After the dog made a positive alert on both vehicles, including "sitting and staring" at the back of Wheeler's truck, the officer unzipped the suitcase and found three large bundles of suspected marijuana weighing 30.2 pounds. The report placed the value of the drugs at $30,000.

The officer arrested both men and took them to the Craighead County Detention Center where they were charged with possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance with the purpose to deliver.

The incident report stated that agents had received information several months ago that Wheeler, who works at a local auto dealer, had been "involved in the sale of large quantities of controlled substances (marijuana and ICE)."

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