Deputy Awarded for Recovering $17K Worth of Illegal Drugs
Deputy Carol Stafford received the Tennessee Highway Safety Office Beyond the Traffic Stop award. Flanking her at left are Sgt. Nick Coble and Sgt. Michael Rodgers, who serves as THSO network coordinator, and at right is Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh.

Recovering about $17,000 worth of illegal drugs during a traffic stop for speeding earned a Rutherford County Sheriff’s deputy a state award.

Deputy Carol Stafford earned the Beyond the Traffic Stop Award this week from the Tennessee Highway Safety Office.

Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh presented the award to Stafford Thursday.

Sgt. Nick Coble, who nominated Stafford, said she helped recover Ecstasy tablets and pills believed to be Fentanyl after stopping the driver July 28 on Interstate 24 near the Buchanan Road exit.

Stafford approached the driver and noticed several air fresheners in the vehicle and carpet displaced under the legs of the back seat passenger pretending to be asleep.

Indications of illegal drugs being in the vehicle prompted Stafford to request a Sheriff’s K9 and handler to check the car, the sergeant said. The K9 indicated the presence of drugs in the vehicle.

“Deputy Stafford’s attention to detail and quick actions of getting a K-9 unit on scene led to the seizure 563.9 grams of ecstasy pills, estimated street value of $10,000 and 51.4 grams of an unknown green pills suspected to be Fentanyl, estimated street value of $7,000,” Coble said.

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