Here's What Really Happened on the Night Waylon Jennings Was Arrested for Possession of Drugs

Back in 2017, Terry Jennings, the oldest son of country icon Waylon Jennings, released a memoir that uncovers what actually happened on the night federal agents arrested his legendary father for conspiracy and possession of cocaine with a goal to distribute.

In his book, "Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad," Terry, who passed away earlier this year, explains that his dad was working to put together a trip to Jamaica for a young lady who had brain cancer in 1977.

"Next thing you know, DEA agents were coming through the doors and into the control room.”

Waylon Jennings promotional picture for RCA, circa 1965 | Photo: Wikimedia

Waylon Jennings promotional picture for RCA, circa 1965 | Photo: Wikimedia

However, the person who was set accountable for setting up the trip committed a big mistake in the process. As a way of saying "sorry," he settled on a choice to send the country superstar an ounce of cocaine as a gift.

Someone else sent the "gift" to Waylon through a private delivery service. The employee at the service, who wound up suspicious of the package, chose to open it. 

The employee then informed the Drug Enforcement Agency after finding the cocaine. Although the DEA took almost all of the cocaine, they left a few grams in the package and approved to have it sent on to Nashville.

Totally uninformed that the DEA was on Waylon's case, his secretary picked the package up at the airport. She then carried it to the recording studio that was situated next to the vocalist's office. 

Terry writes, “Dad took the package into the studio area, opened it, saw what was inside, and went back to work. Next thing you know, DEA agents were coming through the doors and into the control room.”

Waylon Jennings on stage | Photo: Getty Images

Waylon Jennings on stage | Photo: Getty Images

The DEA and the police searched Waylon’s recording studio. But they found no proof because while they were waiting for a search warrant, the singer disposed of the cocaine. 

The charges were later dropped, and Waylon was discharged. The scene was described in his hit song "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Outta Hand?"

In February 2002, Waylon died in his sleep of diabetic complications at the age of 64, in Chandler, Arizona. Prior to his demise, his wellbeing had been declining for a considerable length of time. 

The singer was recognized as “the gun-toting, Texan tough guy of country.” He was courageous, and his devotion is shown in his music. His all-time hits were “Stop the World (And Let Me Off)," “Walk On Out of My Mind,” and “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line.” 

In 1968, Waylon won his first Grammy Award, and in 2001, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Six years later, he was posthumously awarded the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music.

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