NASHVILLE, Ill. – A routine traffic stop involving a moped led authorities to a large meth bust over the weekend in southern Illinois.
Prosecutors have charged Matthew Rutherford, 28 of Zeigler, Illinois, and Mackenzie Wiggins, 20 of Benton, Illinois, with several felonies in the investigation.
Around midnight on Sunday, officers with the Nashville (Illinois) Police Department pulled over a man on a moped that did not have any registration tags displayed. The driver was later identified as Rutherford. He was pulled over in the driveway of a Shell gas station on State Route 127 in Washington County.
Police say Rutherford lied about his identity and led officers on a brief foot pursuit before he was detained. According to the Nashville Police Department, Rutherford was a non-compliant sex offender with a pending arrest warrant.
During this traffic stop, police also noticed a black Nissan Ultima driving around the area without any registration. The car briefly rushed away from officers, though was later tracked down on an interstate by Washington County deputies. After pulling over the Ultima, authorities learned that Wiggins and Rutherford had been traveling together.
Wiggins was found in possession of suspected fentanyl, then promptly arrested. This led police to search the moped and Rutherford’s backpack. While searching, police found a large quantity of methamphetamine and various pieces of drug paraphernalia. The methamphetamine recovered weighed around two pounds.
Rutherford and Wiggins are both charged with conspiracy to deliver 400-900 grams of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, open title on a vehicle, operating a vehicle without evidence of registration and operating an uninsured vehicle. Wiggins also faces a charge for the fentanyl possession, while Rutherford is also charged for failure to register as a sex offender, obstructing with police and other drug charges.
The investigation unfolded around Nashville, Illinois, nearly an hour southeast of St. Louis.