By Nadia Thacker, KFEQ Radio

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says it patrols major highways in the northwest part of the state that are often used to transport contraband.

Major highways in northwest Missouri used for trafficking contraband

Several large drug busts were made on I-29 over the past several weeks in Andrew County. Sgt. Jake Angle with the Missouri State Highway Patrol says at least three large marijuana seizures were made in the past two weeks.

“We don’t see it coming from any one source,” Angle says. “The southern border, a lot of times we see contraband coming up from there. But also from the states now that are legalizing marijuana we’re seeing some marijuana coming out of those states and being transported across the country.”

Angle says most of the recent seizures have been traveling through Missouri to other locations.

“It’s part of our job to uncover criminal activity. In Troop H we have a criminal interdiction team that works specifically at that. Looking for wanted fugitives, people carrying contraband, things like that,” Angle says. “Lately we’ve been very productive on Interstate 29 but that’s what we do day in and day out.”

Angle says he does not believe the recent seizures are tied together. He says other area highways, including I-35 and US-36 can have the same problems.

“Anytime you’re working around a major corridor, a major interstate, highway…Any roadway like this that passes through the country, goes beyond and through Missouri, unfortunately those are used by people to carry all kinds of contraband,” Angle says. “Drugs, weapons, whatever the case may be.”

He says the best thing officers can do to combat the issue is to to make stops for traffic violations.

“They try to conduct a complete traffic stop concept. Which means they’re looking for any indicators, they’re talking to people, looking inside their car. You’d be surprised sometimes the information the officers out there can garner from doing that traffic stop,” Angle says. “It may lead them to doing that request to search the vehicle.”