$5 Million Worth of Drugs in the Panhandle

Five million dollars worth of drugs have been caught in the Panhandle since January first.

This should put that five million dollar total into perspective for you, that's close to one thousand pounds of marijuana and more than six thousand grams of cocaine.

Many of us drive it on a daily basis, and I-40 is also a favorite of America's drug traffickers.

DPS Trooper Gabriel Medrano says, "It is the major corridor for the United States as far as drugs go." The Potter County Sheriff's Office says it has to stop.

Chief Deputy Roger Short says, It's a cooperative effort right now in Potter County and I think one that hasn't been seen in quite a few years." They are in the process of making several changes in their drug trafficking involvement. "If there is a valid arrest for them to be put in jail, then we don't turn them down, and that's brand new as of last week."

Another big change, Potter County deputies will soon play an active roll in making traffic stops to catch drug traders. "We have already had officers attend training on interdiction. They're receiving some of the best training available on techniques and what they have to look for when they're out there working."

As far as who officials are looking out for on I-40. There is specific no drug trafficker stereo-type. Medrano says, "It varies from race, age, what type of vehicles they're driving."

In fact, in a drug bust Wednesday where officials report seizing more than 50 pounds of marijuana, the driver was a 62-year old woman.

Chief Roger Short says not only are drug traffickers using our roadways to transport their goods, often times, the drug trades are ending in Amarillo.

So far this year, 37 drug trafficking stops have been made in the area, with the majority of those being along I-40.