2 arrested after drugs found sitting underneath children during traffic stop

DICKSON, Tenn. (WKRN) – Agents with the 23rd Judicial Drug Task Force made a startling discovery after stopping a mini-van on Thursday afternoon.

Manuel Sanchez and Sendi Fernandez were stopped on Interstate 40 East at the I-840 interchange.

Authorities said Sanchez, of Washington, seemed confused about where he’s been and where he’s going.

After speaking with the agent for a few minutes, the 39-year-old man allegedly admitted there were drugs in the back of the van.

“I think it is marijuana,” Sanchez is heard saying on dash cam video.

Agents checked the van and found two duffel bags loaded with high-grade marijuana. Authorities said the bag was sitting underneath three young children.

On the dash cam video, drug agents ask passenger Fernandez to get out of the van and tell her, “You are endangering yourself and the children.”

“It is ridiculous to put your kids in that kind of risk for money,” said Brian Beasley with the 23rd Judicial Drug Task Force. “With as much violence in drug trade, it is a lot of money and drugs, and people get killed for a lot less than that.”

Authorities said the weed was vacuum-sealed into 37 one pound packages and that it sells for more than $2,000 a pound.

“It came from out West,” Beasley explained. “The further East it gets, the more expensive it gets.”

Drug agents told News 2 the couple were acting as drug mules and were paid to deliver the high-octane product. Investigators said the pair has not cooperated with them, so it still is unknown where the drug was headed.

Both Sanchez and Fernandez remain jailed in the Dickson County jail on $81,000 bonds each.

The three children, ages 1, 4, and 7 years old, remain the DCS custody.

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