Three defendants accused of trafficking 230 pounds of marijuana pleaded guilty last week. One other defendant allegedly involved in the drug trafficking has not yet gone to trial.
One of the defendants was pulled over in a 2003 Chevrolet Astro by the North Carolina Highway Patrol on June 11 for following too closely. The trooper discovered that the driver had an expired license. A search of the vehicle revealed more than 100 pounds of marijuana in the trunk.
The defendant was linked to a drug trafficking ring operating from a house on Hunters Hope Lane by investigators from the North Carolina Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE). Agents discovered a sophisticated marijuana operation at the home and arrested three other defendants. Investigators uncovered 100 pounds of pot, as well as press machines, scales and shrink wrap.
Altogether, the drug bust involved 230 pounds of marijuana. According to the N.C. ALE, the marijuana had a street value of $168,000. During the drug bust, the agents also seized $7,432 in cash.
The defendant who was driving the car faced drug charges of conspiracy to traffic marijuana and trafficking. The other three defendants involved in the drug bust were charged with trafficking in marijuana, conspiracy to traffic in marijuana, possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, felony maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Two of the defendants, including the driver, were sentenced to probation. The other defendant had prior convictions in California that required stiffer penalties, resulting in a sentence of 12 to 15 months in prison. The remaining defendant has yet to go to trial.
Source: Gaston Gazette “Guilty pleas in 230 pounds of pot case” 9/9/10