Federal authorities arrested a Nashville man Thursday on a drug conspiracy charge in connection with a large cocaine bust in Rutherford County earlier this week.
Antonio Dunlap, 41, of Nashville, was charged after attempting to pick up a trailer from a horse boarding facility in Smyrna, Tenn. The trailer had more than 200 pounds of cocaine hidden under a “false wall,” according to a federal affidavit issued by a Drug Enforcement Administration officer.
A man boarded three miniature horses at the Smyrna facility on Tuesday morning, according to the affidavit. The facility received multiple calls later that night from individuals looking to pick up the trailer. One man offered double the amount due for the boarding if he could retrieve the trailer.
That’s when the facility called the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators checked the trailer with a detection dog who alerted authorities to a drug presence. After obtaining a search warrant, officers found extra metal welding in the trailer. The false wall was removed and 58 bundles of white substance, which tested positive for cocaine, was allegedly recovered.
Wednesday morning, RCSO officers staked out at the facility when Dunlap and another man, Jose Anjel Beltran, came to pick up the trailer. Beltran told officers he had been sent by a man in California to check on the trailer.
Dunlap, who is currently being held at the Davidson County jail, allegedly attempted to cover up the drug connection by telling officers he had just met Beltran that morning. Beltran, however, already told police that Dunlap picked him up from the airport a week ago.
Both Beltran and Dunlap were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
Dunlap was convicted for selling cocaine in Metro in 1994, according to court records.