A produce driver making a delivery to Sewanee Elementary School was busted by a Franklin County, Tennessee, school resource officer after he smelled what he believed to be marijuana as the truck drove passed by last week, authorities there said.
When school resource officer Josh Alexander was welcoming students Thursday morning at the school, a delivery truck passed by leaving behind what the officer recognized as the odor of marijuana, according to a statement from department spokesman Sgt. Sam Davidson.
Alexander spoke to the delivery driver, Christopher James Duncan, of Huntsville, Alabama, who allegedly confirmed there were illegal drugs in the truck, according to Davidson. A search of the truck cab produced 7.6 ounces of suspected fentanyl, 9 ounces of suspected marijuana, a 9mm handgun and $4,463 in cash, he said.
Duncan is charged with possession of a schedule I controlled substance with intent to manufacture, deliver or sell; possession of a schedule VI controlled substance with intent to manufacture, deliver or sell; unlawful possession of a weapon; and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to police. Duncan also is charged with a drug-free school zone violation, which under state law, can enhance criminal penalties upon conviction on associated charges.
Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller said investigators didn't find any suspected drugs in the company's produce containers. According to investigators, Duncan had already made stops at Cowan Elementary School, which houses grades pre-K through fifth, and Huntland Schools, which houses pre-K through 12th grade, before he got the Sewanee Elementary, a kindergarten though fifth-grade school.
"He delivered products, but there was no indication that any drugs were delivered," Fuller said Monday in a phone interview. The items delivered have been isolated and seized as part of the investigation.
The sheriff said Duncan was interviewed by detectives.
"But I don't know what the contents of that interview is yet," he said. The investigation is ongoing, he said.
Authorities said the delivery truck belongs to Forestwood Farm Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama, where a company leader said he was shocked to learn of the incident.
"We've been in business for 40 years and never had this problem before," company president Randy Scott said Monday in a phone interview. "Background checks, drugs screens, there was no problem."
Duncan was terminated following the arrest, Scott said.
"He's no longer employed here, and we'll continue our best to keep anything like this from happening again," he said. "We're working with authorities."
Scott said company officials only know the same information media has been told about the investigation. He said people have been understanding of the situation.
Meanwhile, Duncan is being held on a $250,000 bond and faces an appearance Jan. 23 in Franklin County General Sessions Court. Court officials said Duncan had no lawyer on record as of Monday.
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