Wednesday's arrest of Charles Wayne Ivey and the previous seizure of 754 pounds of marijuana were results of a year-long investigation of a possible large-scale trafficking operation, according to Metro police.
Two others — Teresa Kay Joplin, 51, and Spencer Del Vermuele, 59, both of Arizona — have also been charged in the case. Joplin and Vermuele were booked into Metro jail late Tuesday night and each charged with felony drug possession.
According to Metro police, undercover officers assigned to the 20th Judicial District Drug Task Force followed a camper trailer that they believed contained the marijuana as it drove through Nashville on Jan. 24 on Interstate 65, passing within 1,000 feet of several schools including Father Ryan High School.
Police believe Ivey wasn’t ready for the shipment and directed Joplin and Vermuele to go to a campground in Humphreys County until they could make the delivery. There, officers, with help from the Perry County Sheriff’s Office and the 21st Judicial District Drug Task Force, pulled the two over near Linden and arrested them.
Ivey, 27, who according to Metro police resides in the Encore condominiums downtown, was arrested early Wednesday. A convicted felon and the man police believe to be the “senior distributor” in the alleged marijuana trafficking operation, Ivey was on probation at the time of his arrest. He allegedly stored the marijuana in houses around Nashville.
Police are continuing the investigation, during which they said they have also seized five vehicles, the trailer and more than $20,000 cash.