Drug Shipment Investigation Results In Award For Officer

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Drug Shipment Investigation Results In Award For Officer

Posted: 02/26/2010
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen named Lance Halseth the November Officer of the Month for the Knoxville Police Department. Officer Halseth has been with KPD since August 2005. 
 
On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, at approximately 8:30 a.m., Officer Halseth responded to a call of a suspicious package at a freight shipping company located on Texas Avenue. Officer Halseth inspected the freight which consisted of office furniture. According to employees of the freight company, they had received similar deliveries in each of the past three months. Each month the shipments were paid for with cash by a Hispanic male that did not have a valid Tennessee identification.

Chief Owen said, "Officer Halseth began his investigation by reviewing paperwork from the previous shipments. He noticed that one month a specific Hispanic male sent the package from Texas and the next month that same person received the shipment in Tennessee." 

Officer Halseth also noted the package appeared to be inexpensive freight, but the shipping costs were $1,100.00. The shipments were also sent at the same time of the month. Officer Halseth then requested a K-9 officer to respond to the scene were the dog alerted on the package twice. A search warrant was obtained which resulted in the discovery of 98 lbs. of packaged marijuana hidden in the furniture.

Chief Owen said, "The furniture was repackaged for delivery to the suspects. Once the suspects arrived to claim their shipment, both were taken into custody without incident." 

"As a result of Officer Halseth's investigation, an additional 50-plus pounds of marijuana was seized at a freight hub in Laredo, TX. That shipment was also bound for Tennessee," said Chief Owen.

Mayor Haslam said, "Officer Halseth is commended for his outstanding investigation that removed more than 100 pounds of marijuana from the streets. Thanks for a job well done."
 
Suspect 1-Charles Bailey, DOB 10-8-71, Washburn, TN, Possession of Schedule VI (marijuana) for resale and Possession of Schedule II (Ocycodone) for resale

Suspect 2-Arnesto Hernandes Martinez, DOB 4-16-85, Morristown, TN, Possession of Schedule VI (marijuana) for resale

Seized: $1,022.00 Cash, 2004 Dodge Truck