Package at FedEx leads to drug arrest

An investigation that began after a supervisor at FedEx notified police vice and narcotics officers of a suspicious package Tuesday resulted in the seizure of marijuana and the arrest of the man who came to pick the package up.

Vice and Narcotics Detective Kenneth Evans reported that the package contained 93 grams of marijuana and Latome Woods, 32, was arrested after he signed for the package and started to walk out of the FedEx terminal in the 200 block of Mulberry Street.

Evans reported that sheriff’s department K-9 Sgt. Andor alerted on the package, giving police probable cause to open it.

The case began when Vice and Narcotics Lt. James Golden received a call from the FedEx supervisor about the suspicious package at 1:30 p.m. The supervisor told Golden that the carrier would be back at the terminal at 3 p.m. and officers could check the package then.

At 3:05 p.m., detectives arrived at the terminal and examined the box, which appeared not to have been opened, and Golden then contacted Tri-County Drug Task Force Sgt. Yohance Brunson to ask for assistance from a canine.

Sgt. Andor and Deputy Courtney Kelly arrived at the terminal at 3:45 p.m., and after the FedEx supervisor had lined up eight boxes, Kelly told the dog to check all eight boxes.

Evans reported that Sgt. Andor initially did not alert on any of the boxes, but on another attempt, the dog “scooted the box out with his feet and sat down.”

A FedEx employee then opened the box and Evans reported the substance appeared to have been vacuum packed in the container.

At the request of detectives, FedEx called the name of the person who was listed on the box and asked that person, who was later identified as Woods, to come to the terminal and pick up the package. They also asked Woods to provide identification and he reportedly told the FedEx employee he would show them a California identification card.

Evans reported that at 4:45 p.m., an older model Cadillac containing two people pulled up at the terminal, and after Woods showed his identification, he signed for the package and was arrested as he started to leave. Woods reportedly told detectives he “had a small bag of marijuana in the car that he had taken out of his pocket,” and officers located that bag, which contained 1.9 grams of marijuana.

When he was questioned at the jail, Woods reportedly said the marijuana in the box was his, claiming “he couldn’t get any (marijuana) around here,” and had it shipped to himself.

The probable cause affidavit did not indicate where the marijuana was shipped from, officials said.

Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set a $25,000 bond for Woods after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver.

Woods told the court he would hire his own attorney and was told to come back to court Nov. 29.