Tennessee Highway Patrol discovers $450,000 worth of stolen meals for Hurricane Laura relief; North Carolina man arrested

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FALL BRANCH, Tenn. (WATE) — Two stolen box trucks from South Carolina filled with $450,000 worth of pre-packaged meals for Louisiana hurricane relief were discovered at truck stops in Tennessee by highway patrol troopers.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said Wednesday its troopers arrested a driver after locating two stolen commercial box trailers loaded with stolen meals in Jefferson and Cumberland counties that had been bound for hurricane relief efforts in Louisiana.

According to THP, troopers and THP’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) found two stolen commercial box trailers loaded with Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) on Aug. 30.

Officials say THP Sergeant Bobby Bullington located a stolen commercial box trailer belonging to Conley Trucking Company out of South Carolina at a Pilot Travel Center off I-81 in Jefferson County. Bullington also located the driver, Antonio Eaddy of North Carolina. The investigation revealed the vehicle identification number (VIN) plate had been removed from the trailer. A secondary VIN was found which confirmed that the trailer was listed in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) as stolen.

THP Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Trooper Michael Hall responded to the scene. During his investigation, the cargo was identified belonging to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Troopers contacted FEMA and were informed the cargo contained 30,780 pre-packaged individual Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) bound for hurricane relief efforts in Louisiana. The load was valued over $200,000.

Eaddy was arrested without incident and charged with Class A Felony theft over $250,000, driving on a suspended license, and criminal impersonation.

After further investigation, THP says a second stolen commercial box trailer was located at a Pilot Travel Center off I-40 in Cumberland County. THP-CID Trooper Billy Collins and THP-CID Sergeant Jonathan Scott confirmed the commercial box trailer was stolen from Florence County, South Carolina.

The driver of that vehicle has not yet been located, THP said.

THP also said its investigators notified all parties of their respective property having been recovered.

The investigation is ongoing.

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