Tennessee troopers find children locked in back of U-Haul with drugs

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FALL BRANCH, Tenn. — Troopers in Tennessee arrested three men after law enforcement found three young children were locked in the back of a truck with a stash of drugs, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

A call came in Wednesday saying somebody had seen a man load multiple children into the back of a U-Haul truck in the parking lot of a Cocke County welcome center.

Law enforcement reportedly spotted a U-Haul in the area and stopped it.

According to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the trooper asked if anybody was in the back of the box truck. The driver, 36-year-old Eric Larue, said there was.

The trooper said he found three children, ages 1, 5 and 8, the back of the truck. It was 92 degrees outside the vehicle at the time.

The Department of Safety and Homeland Security said the troopers, smelling drugs, obtained a search warrant for the vehicle.

With it, they reportedly found crystal methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, along with other drug paraphernalia.

Larue and his adult passengers, all residents of North Carolina, were arrested.

Larue was charged with three counts of child endangerment, no license law, lane law violation, seat belt violation, children not restrained violation and registration not carried.

Lakiza Williams, 40, was charged with three counts of child endangerment, two counts of possession of a schedule two drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Willie Green Jr., 40, was charged with three counts of child endangerment and possession of schedule six drug.

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