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Murfreesboro man, woman arrested with $1.3 million in Xanax pills

(RCSO)

Rutherford County officers arrested two people with more than 58,000 Xanax pills and supplies to produce more pills on Monday.

Joseph Davis, 25, and Erica Dotson, 29, were charged with multiple drug offenses after officers found them with drugs produced in a clandestine lab to sell on the black market.

The RCSO said this investigation began in January after a U.S. Postal inspector told officers about packages being shipped from Murfreesboro to multiple locations through the U.S.

After officers identified them as the senders, Dotson and Davis shipped packages that were intercepted and searched by law enforcement in February. Investigators found approximately 8,300 dosage units of Xanax were recovered with a street value of $41,500.

On Monday, officers served warrants at two Rutherford County locations. Detectives seized more than 58,000 Xanax pills and one pound of pure Alprazolam powder during that search.

The RCSO said the Alprazolam powder, when mixed with binding agents, would produce approximately 200,000 dosage units of clandestinely produced Xanax. The pills sell for about $5 each on the street.

“With clandestine labs, the dangers grow exponentially," Narcotics Detective Sgt. Tony Hall said. "The end user of the substance has no idea what substance or what quantity of controlled substance they are ingesting. Some earlier samples in a related case tested positive for fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.”

Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said this shows the his department's commitment to combating the illegal drugs coming into Rutherford County.

“What we are finding in illegal Xanax is that in 89 percent of the cases statewide, the deadly synthetic drug fentanyl is mixed into the pills,” Fitzhugh said. “We will continue in our efforts to fight to keep these drugs out of Rutherford County.”

The Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, U.S. Postal Inspectors and Investigators from the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Food and Drug Administration all worked to investigate this case.

“The Postal Service has no interest in being the unwitting accomplice to anyone using the U.S. Mail to distribute illegal drugs or other harmful substances,” said David M. McGinnis, U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge. “Postal Inspectors objectives are to rid the mail of illicit drug trafficking, preserve the integrity of the mail and, most importantly, provide a safe environment for postal employees and the American public."

Davis and Dotson were charged with felony possession of Schedule 4 drugs, maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of selling drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. Officers said both Davis and Dotson will face additional charges.

Davis was charged also with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. Davis is being held on $100,000 bond, and Dotson is being held on $75,000 bond at Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.

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