Troopers say they busted a California man driving through Springfield on Tuesday with 165 pounds of meth in the back of his vehicle.
Court documents say a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper stopped the rented Nissan Armada SUV for a "traffic violation" at 12:17 p.m., near the 82-mile marker of eastbound Interstate 44.
The trooper became suspicious of the driver and asked to search the vehicle, which the driver agreed to, according to court documents.
In the back of the vehicle, court documents say the trooper found three moving boxes with about 165 pounds of suspected meth packed inside.
In an interview with law enforcement after his arrest, the driver allegedly told investigators he was being paid $2,000 to drive the vehicle from California to Chicago.
More:Springfield police haven't busted a meth lab all year, but the drug is still a problem
Court documents say the driver told investigators he did not know what was inside the boxes, but federal prosecutors charged him with anyway, stating there is probable cause to believe the man knew he was transporting drugs.
The driver is being held in jail and will go before a judge on Tuesday. He faces a charge of possessing with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of meth.
Attempts on Thursday to reach a spokesperson for the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Drug and Crime Control division were not successful, but Tuesday's arrest likely marks one of the largest meth busts in the state in recent memory. For context, the Springfield Police Department recovered roughly 53 pounds of meth during the entire year in 2021.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Highway patrol seizes 165 pounds of meth on Interstate 44 Springfield