MONTGOMERY – Four Alabama State Troopers are receiving honors for utilizing specialized training to seize 99 kilograms – about 218 pounds -- of cocaine as the result of a routine traffic stop in Tuscaloosa County earlier this year.
At a ceremony at the State Capitol on Friday, Governor Bob Riley recognized and thanked Cpl. Darrell Seymour, Trooper Richard Pittman, Sgt. Charlton Martin and Trooper Shone Minor for their "exemplary service in keeping Alabama safe." The Troopers are part of the Felony Apprehension Patrol unit, which trains Troopers to detect other illegal activity taking place when they conduct "routine" traffic stops.
Governor Riley said this drug seizure is an example of how the Department of Public Safety has succeeded in applying innovative training to enhance the ability of law enforcement officers to keep Alabama communities safe.
"Highway Patrol is about much more than writing tickets and enforcing traffic laws," Governor Riley said. "These men and their colleagues in the Felony Apprehension Patrol unit utilize their training to detect criminal activity, detain lawbreakers and keep illegal drugs and other contraband off the streets. Any given traffic stop could be a drug dealer smuggling narcotics through Alabama, or a convicted felon on the loose. Thanks to our Troopers, we've increased the number of criminal arrests and contraband seizures this year, and stemmed the flow of illegal drugs through Alabama."
On May 13, Cpl. Seymour was on patrol in Tuscaloosa County when he stopped a commercial tractor trailer for inspection. Noticing the driver was nervous and detecting what he thought to be a secret compartment in the truck's cabin, Seymore called for back up from his fellow troopers and asked for the driver's consent to search the truck. Their search yielded 99 kilograms of cocaine hidden under a trap door in the cabin.
What was originally a routine traffic stop resulted in $2.8 million worth of illegal drugs being taken off the streets and halted before they could reach communities.
So far in 2010, the Felony Apprehension Patrol unit has confiscated:
- More than $3.2 million in U.S. currency gained through illegal means
- 6,821 pounds of Marijuana
- 496 pounds of Cocaine