Couple hauling $3M in cocaine killed in shootout with Texas police after tractor-trailer chase

A Tennessee couple hauling $3 million worth of cocaine was killed in a shootout with police after a dangerous tractor-trailer chase in west Texas, authorities said Monday.

Edward and Elizabeth Stevenson, of Cookeville, Tenn., were driving the truck on Texas State Highway 70 in Donley County when law enforcement tried to pull them over, Amarillo CBS affiliate KFDA reported.

But the couple continued driving, leading authorities on an unconventional chase as they approached Interstate 40.

As the Stevensons’ tractor-trailer exited Highway 70 to enter the interstate, police used a spike strip to disable the vehicle, according to KFDA.

Cops said the Stevensons then hopped out and opened fire on police, KFDA reported. Officers killed them in the shootout.

Authorities had been investigating the Stevensons for some time, the Putnam County, Tenn. sheriff’s office said in a statement. Agents organized a series of undercover drug purchases from the couple and raided their home on May 9.

The Stevensons were not home at the time. Cops said they found suspected meth, suspected fentanyl, multiple firearms, ammunition and body armor in the home about 70 miles east of Nashville.

Evidence at the scene showed the couple was in Mexico to make a deal with a drug cartel and would be returning through Texas with the contraband, according to the Putnam County sheriff’s office.

Investigators in Texas caught up with the Stevensons on Friday, sparking the stunning highway chase. According to Putnam County authorities, the Stevensons were planning “suicide by cop” if they couldn’t get away.

Police said they found 64 pounds of cocaine in the truck.

“They didn’t want to get caught by law enforcement,” Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris told Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN. “But more probably were afraid of the cartel than being caught, you know, 29 kilos, and their relationship with one of the Mexican cartels on a regular basis.”