David Jean Tucker, 59, of Haysville, Kan., and Cynthia Ann Belcher, 63, of Wichita, Kan., were jailed Friday after Canadian County sheriff’s deputies found more than 30 pounds of methamphetamine in the rental car they were driving, Canadian County Sheriff Chris West said.
They were stopped on eastbound Interstate 40 near mile marker 123 after the driver changed lanes without signaling and then veered off the road to the outside shoulder, West said in a news release.
The two had rented a 2016 Toyota Camry three days before in Kansas and traveled to Phoenix, where they picked up the drugs. They admitted they were recruited to be drug smugglers while receiving services at a faith-based mission in Wichita and were in the process of making their second trip, West said.
“It’s mindboggling to learn this pair was recruited by the drug cartel over a free meal at a local church in Wichita, Kan. I guess the cartel will stoop to any level to lure people to haul drugs for them,” West said.
Belcher pretended to be asleep when deputies walked up to the vehicle. Tucker, the driver, told authorities he had rented the vehicle to take Belcher to the Cancer Centers of America at the Veteran’s Hospital in Amarillo, Texas. Deputies checked and learned there was no such facility there.
Tucker and Belcher have lengthy criminal histories, West said.
A drug dog alerted to the drugs in the car. Thirty-one packages of methamphetamine were found inside the car doors and trunk, valued at more than $200,000.
Tucker and Belcher were jailed on complaints of aggravated trafficking of methamphetamine after a former conviction of a felony and bail set at $200,000.
“I’m very happy we were able to intercept this load, keeping it out of the hands of the cartel, and those whose lives it is ruining,” West said.