MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Officers say they found hundreds of pounds of marijuana inside a truck that was left stranded on the Interstate 55 bridge, and a 54-year-old woman has been charged.
Memphis Police say they were called Sunday afternoon to meet with Arkansas State Police about a Chevrolet Suburban that was left unoccupied in a southbound lane of traffic on the bridge between Memphis and West Memphis.
The Suburban had been struck, and TDOT along with Arkansas state police moved it to Metal Museum Drive to complete a crash report and have the vehicle towed away.
Neighbors in the French Fort area by the museum saw police but didn’t much about it.
“I saw three cars and I just thought it was a normal wreck. I didn’t know all that was going on down there,” said Tia Duncan.
While police were on the scene, they said the truck’s driver, Catherine Mardesich, returned in another driver’s vehicle.
She told officers she left the Suburban because it ran out of gas. The man said he was just helping the stranded woman get some gas.
When officers began to inventory her vehicle, Mardesich allegedly told them, “I don’t want you going through my vehicle,” according to an affidavit.
That’s when officers say they noticed the smell of “raw marijuana” coming from the vehicle.
Memphis Police said they searched the truck and found 229 pounds of marijuana in cardboard boxes and a duffel bag, as well as a liquid substance, $17,800 in cash wrapped in rubber bands, and a ledger. Some of the boxes reportedly were stamped with labels stating they contained cannabis.
“That’s crazy. Driving with all that in your car knowing there is a chance you could get pulled over,” said Duncan.
Mardesich is charged with possession of marijuana and taken to Jail East in Memphis. Her last known address was listed by police as Seattle.
Medical marijuana is legal for dispensaries in Arkansas but is not in Tennessee.