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Michigan State Police officers have intercepted more than 1,200 opioid pills on southbound Interstate 75 since Saturday, according to a media release published Tuesday.

The I-75 corridor is a known drug trafficking hotspot, as drugs head south from the Detroit area, said Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police.

Both actions took place in Monroe County and were carried out by hometown security team of MSP’s special enforcement section, Shaw said. Information on when the incidents occurred in the daytime were not immediately available.

In the first incident, MSP stopped a vehicle on southbound I-75 on Saturday for improper lane use. During the stop, troopers became suspicious and asked for permission to search the vehicle. After permission was granted, troopers found 444 oxycodone pills “hidden behind the carpeting in the trunk,” the release said. Police say a passenger copped to possession of the pills and said he was paid $500, or just over a dollar a pill, to transport the drugs to Ohio. MSP is still investigating the incident.

Earlier Tuesday, troopers stopped a vehicle traveling south on I-75 in Monroe County for following too closely. Troopers became suspicious of the occupants in the vehicle and had a K-9 officer, Otto, perform a sniff. When Otto indicated there were drugs in the vehicle, police conducted a search, finding 778 OxyContin pills hidden in the dash. Police are still investigating.

Arrests were made in both cases, but Shaw declined to provide specifics because no one has been arraigned as yet.

jdickson@detroitnews.com

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