Plain-clothed officers arrested a Seattle man when he landed at the Nashville airport Monday, finding 84 pounds of Christmas present-wrapped marijuana in his checked bags, according to an affidavit.
Somphone Temmeraj, 57, was arrested by Nashville airport police on a felony charge of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
A trained narcotic detection K-9 “alerted (officers) to the odor” as checked bags unloaded around 4:30 p.m. The Nashville Airport police officer, who also “observed the odor of marijuana” coming from three identical bags, noted Temmeraj’s name on the airline tags.
Officers watched Temmeraj pick up the bags and continue toward the exit. He admitted they were his when officers stopped him and he allowed officers to open the bag to see whether there were any drugs in it, voluntarily handing over the key to the bags, an affidavit states.
The search yielded “numerous packages” in Christmas wrapping paper — totaling 75 — which were also wrapped in white towels “which appeared to be used as a filler.” There were “no clothes or personal items that you would normally see someone travel with,” the affidavit reads.
Temmeraj consented to allowing the officers to open a package, exposing the double vacuum-sealed bundles of marijuana.
In his carry-on backpack, officers found a stack of $20 bills totaling $1,000, two cell phones wrapped in towels, his checked luggage claim ticket from Seattle and a Chase receipt showing that Temmeraj deposited $2,592 in cash Monday morning prior to his flight. Temmeraj also had two additional phones and $1,600 in cash on him.
Determining that the Christmas gift-wrapped, double vacuum-sealed bags carried a total of 84 pounds of the “green leafy substance,” officers asked Temmeraj what he does for a living for his arrest affidavit.
“This,” Temmeraj reportedly responded.
He was booked into the Davidson County jail Monday evening and placed on $10,000 bond. Davidson County Sheriff’s Office inmate information shows that Temmeraj was released Tuesday around 11:10 a.m.
Temmeraj is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 31.
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