Officers make Greyhound bus drug busts in Louisville


Posted on August 15, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 13 at 4:11 PM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - Security Cameras are posted all over the Greyhound Bus Station in Louisville, inside and out, looking for suspicious activity.

Off-duty police officers also are hired to work there at least 12 hours a day, but that doesn't mean contraband can't easily be smuggled into Louisville, using buses.

That's because bags and people aren't usually checked.

As the mid-afternoon Greyhound bus from Cincinnati arrives, dozens of people wait to get on and off.

To keep bus travel as "passenger friendly" as possible, those passengers don't have to pass through the same kind of security checkpoints they would have to if they were going to the county courthouse or getting ready to board a plane.

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"You really just kind of put your bags on yourself," says frequent Greyhound rider Randall Asby.

"They don't do anything about it. They don't check your bags. They don't really ask you where you're going or nothing. You buy your ticket, get on the bus and go. "

Law enforcement officers say criminals increasingly use commercial buses as a way to move drugs and launder money.

Yesterday, narcotics officers were waiting for a bus to arrive at the Louisville Greyhound station after receiving information that a passenger was brining heroin into town.

52-year-old Mark Roth, the man on the bus, and 51-year-old Ronnie Houston, the man picking him up, were both charged with trafficking heroin after officers recovered six ounces of the drug.

It just so happened that two other alleged drug traffickers were riding the same bus.

19-year-old Timothy Gavin and 22-year-old Catherine Hillerich were arrested after officers found 250 Oxycontin pills worth $24,000 and 625 grams of Codeine. The suspects allegedly brought the drugs in from Michigan.

While Louisville used to have TSA Agents assigned to the bus terminal in the years immediately after 9/11, they are no longer there, since the grant that provided them ran out.

Meanwhile, some passengers worry what may be on board.

"It could be anything," Ashby says. "It could be anything. We don't want that, at least I don't."

All four suspects are expected to face federal charges because of the type and quantity of drugs.