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Thursday, July 14, 2011

2,300 Pounds of Pot Seized I-44 Near Pacific Missouri, ton of marijuana from parked tractor-trailer


 Bales of marijuana seized by federal authorities on July 12, 2011, near Pacific. Photo courtesy U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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ICE Agents Seize 2,300 Pounds of Marijuana

July 14, 2011
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have seized more than one ton of marijuana from a parked tractor-trailer.
ICE officials say agents found a tractor-trailer pulled over on the side of Interstate 44 near Pacific on Tuesday. A search found 2,300 pounds of marijuana in burlap bags in a hidden compartment.

ICE says the marijuana had a street value of more than $2 million. The tractor trailer and marijuana were seized. ICE did not release information about whether the truck driver was arrested, citing an ongoing investigation.

July 14, 2011
www.stltoday.com
BY KIM BELL
Thursday, July 14, 2011

PACIFIC • Federal agents this week seized 2,300 pounds of marijuana from a secret compartment inside a tractor-trailer that was parked along Interstate 44.
The pot has a street value of more than $2 million, authorities say.
Gregory Palmore, a spokesman with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, said Thursday that the seizure was made at about 1 a.m. Tuesday.
The agents saw the truck pulled over on the westbound side of the highway near Pacific, Palmore said. The driver was with the truck, he added.
Agents got permission to search the truck and found a hidden compartment containing several dozen burlap bags. The marijuana was found inside those bags.
No one was arrested in the case, Palmore said. The investigation is continuing. Palmore couldn't say why the man who gave police permission to search the truck wasn't arrested.
"I don't have specifics as to why, but there was not enough to warrant" an arrest, he said. "We're continuing to investigate."
Federal drug agents have long called I-44 a major thoroughfare for ''mules'' - drug couriers - heading east from California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Palmore declined to provide any more details, including what kind of secret compartment the drugs were being stored in.
The seizure was the largest marijuana seizure along I-44 this year.
In fact, the Missouri Highway Patrol keeps track of the amount of drugs its state troopers confiscate on all of the state's highways. And the 2,300 pounds of marijuana seized by the feds Tuesday is nearly double what the state patrol has confiscated statewide all year.
So far, the patrol has confiscated a total of 1,387 pounds of marijuana in 40 drug seizures on all of the state's highways combined, said Patrol Lt. John Hotz, the assistant director of the patrol's public information and education division. He couldn't immediately break out Thursday which ones were on I-44 alone.
  Check back for updates.


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