US 287’s reputation as a major drug trafficking corridor continues to be reinforced by those who apparently have a penchant for drawing the attention of law enforcement. The latest case came this past Saturday, March 26th.

At around 11:20 am, the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office Highway Interdiction Deputies noticed a U-Haul truck closely following a Toyota with Oregon plates. Officers stopped the U-Haul at Burnett Ranch Road. The Toyota was stopped a short distance ahead at a weigh station.

Both male drivers were questioned independently and gave conflicting stories. Deputies searched the Toyota and found $11,542 in cash. The driver of the Toyota told deputies the cash belonged to the driver of the U-Haul truck.

A Wichita County Sheriff’s K-9 deputy alerted officers to the contents of the truck. Deputies cut a padlock on the truck and found a hash lab and 52 pounds of hydroponic marijuana with a street value of $332,800. Deputies also found ‘other items’ related to the manufacture of hash.

The driver of the truck, 46-year-old Joseph Nukols, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana over 50 pounds/under 2,000 pounds and money laundering. He was released from the Wichita County Jail on Monday morning on a $75,000 bond.

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