By Patrick Yost editor
After authorities extinguished a truck fire on Interstate 20 on Wednesday, March 9, they also located several large bundles of suspected marijuana in a toolbox on the bed of the truck. According to reports, Deputy Shawn O’Kelly arrived at the scene of a Ford F-150 pickup truck burning near the 117 mile marker on the east bound side of Interstate 20 at 8:50 p.m. O’Kelly said after the fire was extinguished by Morgan County Fire Department personnel, he notices the bundles of suspected marijuana exposed in a an aluminum tool box that had been melted by the fire. The truck’s driver, Tameika R. Gordon, 36, Columbia, S.C. was then handcuffed and placed into O’Kelly’s patrol vehicle. O’Kelly said after Gordon’s arrest he searched her purse and allegedly located three cell phones and a pack of Newport cigarettes that also contained approximately .5 grams of cocaine. Gordon told O’Kelly that a television in the truck had “exploded” while she was driving, starting the fire.
While transporting Gordon, O’Kelly said, the suspect managed to work her handcuffed hands to the front of her body while in O’Kelly’s patrol car. O’Kelly stopped the vehicle and, after calling two other officers to assist, placed Gordon’s hands behind her again and ran one of the handcuff loops through a back belt loop. After O’Kelly released Gordon to the Morgan County Detention Center staff, he got back into his patrol car and noticed, he said, a distinct smell of green marijuana. He searched the back seat of his patrol car and allegedly found a “clear plastic bag approximately the dimension of a tennis ball that contained a green, leafy material and white powdery ‘chunks’ of a substance that were contained within an additional bag.” O’Kelly said he took the items back into the detention center and confronted Gordon with the new evidence. Reports state that Gordon told O’Kelly she had hidden the package inside a body orifice. The “white powdery” substance was positively tested as 2.6 grams of cocaine. Gordon has been charged with trafficking in cocaine and marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and unlawfully crossing guard lines with illegal substances. Authorities also confiscated nearly $500 in cash.