KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Detroit, Michigan woman is facing drug charges after a DEA Officer said she allegedly brought methamphetamine and fentanyl to Knoxville using a Greyhound bus.
The DEA officer, who is also employed by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, said in a criminal complaint that he and a TBI agent were surveilling the Greyhound bus stop at 100 Kirkwood Avenue on January 26 in an unmarked vehicle, watching for possible drug-trafficking from individuals arriving from Detroit. According to the officer, in his previous experience, the Greyhound bus system has been used by some people to transport illegal narcotics to Knoxville for many years.
Police say they saw Jasmine Maxine Johnson, 26, of Detroit, Michigan, step off the bus carrying a single, black duffle bag and get into a blue Honda Accord. After the officers followed the Honda, they observed it speeding in a construction zone and stopped the car on the exit ramp off of I-640 West to Broadway.
After they stopped the car, the officers discovered that the driver was employed by Lyft as a rideshare driver. According to the DEA officer, as he was writing a warning citation for the Lyft Driver, a K-9 unit was on the way and the TBI agent spoke with Johnson. Officers say that Johnson was grasping a single black duffle bag when she said she was traveling to Knoxville from Detroit to visit her mother for multiple days.
The General Sessions Docket on the situation details that officers said it did not appear that Johnson had normal and significant items that a reasonable person would travel with from a different state to spend multiple days in another location.
Once the K-9 Unit arrived, the criminal complaint states that the K-9 alerted that there were illegal narcotics inside the Honda Accord. Officers searched the car and allegedly found that Johnson’s black duffle bag contained approximately 494.2 grams of suspected methamphetamine and approximately 1,242 grams, roughly 2.74 pounds, of suspected fentanyl. A later test revealed that the pound of suspected meth was, in fact, methamphetamine, but the test on the suspected fentanyl came back ambiguous.
According to the DEA, two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal, depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage. If the suspected substance was fentanyl, it is possible that the over 1,200 grams could have killed over 600,000 people.
In the criminal complaint, Johnson allegedly admitted to being a courier transporting the methamphetamine and fentanyl from Detroit to Knoxville for distribution, which she had done at least three times. Johnson also allegedly admitted to transporting illegal narcotics from Detroit to other cities, including Atlanta, Georgia and Cincinnati, Ohio.
Johnson is expected to be in court on April 13.