CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – An Oregon native is behind bars in Cheatham County, Tennessee after police say he was using a Bible for anything but prayer.
Isaiah MacMenami is charged with possession with intent to sell a variety of illegal narcotics that he had secured in a metal lockbox in his car.
According to Cheatham County drug agents, the 40-year-old suspect also had a Bible with a secret compartment that the father of two young twin sons admits he had planned, in the future, to use to smuggle drugs.
Undercover officers told Nexstar’s WKRN they were surprised to see the Hollywood-style smuggling tactic in real life, and MacMenami admitted the idea wasn’t an original one.
“What you haven’t seen that in movies?” MacMenami joked. “Yeah, I didn’t have anything in there, I didn’t even get the chance. I just had it in the car and they locked on to it big time, they are like, ‘Oooh, he’s hollowing out Bibles.’ I’m like, ‘alright.'”
The arrest happened on June 14 when officers saw MacMenami’s black Nissan leaving an area notorious for drug activity. Agents made a traffic stop for a window tint violation that MacMenami claimed he darkened on his own.
The 40-year-old said he was only in town a short time and was on his way to Walmart when he got busted.
“They were quick. I was in town, like an hour, and I was already in jail,” MacMenami said.
MacMenami told officers he was on drug probation out of Nashville. When asked for permission to check his car, he declined, but agents ran a K9 around the vehicle. The dog alerted on the passenger side door, which is where drug agents said they found contraband – THC vials and paraphernalia.
Agents also found a metallic lockbox with a combination. MacMenami told officers he knew the combination, but claimed he didn’t know what was inside the box, agents said. Once open, officers said they found multiple sealed packages and containers of meth, heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, and even Viagra.
When asked about all the drugs, MacMenami said, “Yeah, people were trading stuff for ice. Yes, people want ice, and they say, ‘I got a couple of these, what would you do, man?’ Honestly, I didn’t sell much, I just did it to party with people.”
Cheatham Drug agents also found a Bible. The Bible has been hollowed out to contain contraband without being easily seen.
The drug agent who made the arrest said the hollowed-out Bible trick was a first for him.
“I’ve never seen one in person up to this date and I’ve been doing this like 15 years. I do not think it was very moralistic. It’s definitely one of a kind, a unique find.”
“When you are on drugs, you find ways to waste time and I was in a hotel room one day and I was like ‘there’s a Gideon’s Bible’ and I’m like ‘let’s hollow it out cause I saw it in a movie one time.'”
MacMenami said he has had a drug dependency.
“Honestly, I always thought drugs, you can choose to stop, but after a while, it’s the way. I’ve been doing them 10 years.”
He also blames people’s drug addictions on small towns like Ashland City, where he says there is nothing else to do.
“I look at people like this, there’s nothing for people to do. There’s a Walmart and a jail. And there’s nothing for people to do. What should you do with your time to feel alive here? It’s why people turn to drugs so they don’t feel so depressed with what the world is coming to.”
When told he did have a Bible and he could have spent that time reading it, MacMenami laughed and said, “Yeah, I did.”
MacMenami is in jail on felony drug charges under a $75,000 bond.