Drugs seized from the engine of an SUV


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - David Dycus

PADUCAH, Ky. - The engine of a Dodge Durango is now at the center of an investigation that eluded McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden for nearly two months.

"We are certainly aware that the drug smugglers could be very creative," he said.

But Hayden says the latest drug smuggling case he's working takes the cake.  32 year-old Jose Jimenez was arrested in May.  The sheriff initiated an undercover sting with Jimenez, but when Jimenez arrived in Paducah driving his Durango from Arkansas, Hayden couldn't find any drugs.

"There was indication by drug detection dogs that of presence of an odor of some type of illegal drug, but we were unable to locate it," Hayden said.  Hayden impounded the SUV. 

After receiving word this week drug dealers often use a hidden engine compartment in Durangos, Hayden gutted the SUV and hit the jackpot.

"We did have the engine dismantled and found approximately four pounds of crystal methamphetamine," he said. 

Hayden says the street value is around $180,000, but the work it takes to keep these drugs off the street is priceless.  Hayden says Jimenez isn't working alone and he's trying to sniff out other drug dealers who may be smuggling in illegal drugs.