Waylon Jennings Once Got Out Of Being Strip Searched At A Border Crossing By Showing His Honorary Deputy Sheriff Badge

Waylon Jennings
Waylon Jennings

Outlaw? Waylon Jennings WAS the law.

Waylon gained his outlaw reputation not only for his “don’t give a f*ck” attitude and well-known drug issues, but also for his legal trouble. In 1977, the country legend was arrested by the DEA for conspiracy and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. The charges were later dropped though, because the search warrant that agents used to look for evidence in his recording studio was faulty – and by the time they got it fixed, all of the evidence (and by evidence I mean cocaine) had been flushed down the toilet.

The irony in all this, though, is that Waylon was actually a law enforcement officer himself.

Well, an honorary one.

During a festival in Atoka, Oklahoma in 1975, Jennings and Willie Nelson were made honorary deputy sheriffs by the Atoka Sheriff’s Department. And it turns out, that honor paid off for Waylon while he was out on tour.

In an episode of Mike Judge’s Tales From the Tour Bus, Jerry “Jigger” Bridges, who was the bass player for Waylon’s backing band The Waylors, recalled being out with Willie Nelson on a tour that was headed to Canada when Waylon warned Willie that he needed to clean his bus up before they crossed the border:

“Waylon warned Willie. He said, ‘You’ve got to do something with this bus. There’s so much pot that was smoked, you got to clean it up.'”

Well Willie took Waylon’s advice and got his bus deep cleaned before they got to the border crossing. And when the drug dogs boarded the bus, they could smell the weed – but no matter how hard they searched, they couldn’t find it because he had gotten rid of it before getting to the border.

So Willie’s bus gets sent on into Canada, and next is Waylon’s turn to be searched.

According to Bridges, they thought that since Willie had made it through, they wouldn’t have any problem. But that turned out not to be the case:

“We thought that after he got through that it was smooth sailing for us. Then when our bus got there they took Waylon and wanted to do a strip search.”

But the border patrol didn’t realize that they were dealing with some fellow lawmen (honorary of course, but that’s just a minor detail).

“There was six of us, I think. We were honorary deputy sheriffs.

So when they took us in the little room we just all threw the badges on the table.

One of the guys said, ‘Aw, shit, just go on.'”

I guess it helps to stay on the right side of the law – or to be a member of the law yourself.

@waylonjenningsofficial “Look at us, We’re stupid!” 🚍💨 #WaylonJennings #WillieNelson #TalesFromTheTourBusWaylon #Willie #OutlawCountry #country ♬ original sound – Waylon Jennings

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock