Man arrested with nearly 300 pounds of Marijuana in rental car driving cross-country
ROLLING PRAIRIE - A man who said he was transporting product across the country in a rental car for work was arrested in a small Indiana town after officers discovered the product in question was nearly 300 pounds of marijuana.
According to the La Porte County Police, the driver, Luis Dorantes Perez, 38, was arrested on a felony charge of dealing marijuana.
About 10 a.m., police said an officer stopped the eastbound vehicle for speeding and erratic driving on the Indiana Toll Road.
The officer became suspicious when he spotted a blanket covering what appeared to be several bulky items in the back end of the vehicle and detected a strong odor of what he suspected to be marijuana.
Police said more than 50 plastic packages of partially vacuum sealed marijuana weighing 5 pounds apiece were discovered underneath the blanket.
More than a dozen one-pound packages of marijuana were also found.
A bottle of fabric softener believed to have been used to try and disguise the smell of the marijuana also turned up during the vehicle search, police said.
Police said Perez told the officer the marijuana was “from his work” and he was transporting it to New York from the state of Washington.
Police said receipts found with Perez indicate he drove a rented car through states like Montana, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Illinois before entering Indiana.
This isn't the first cross-country trip authorities have stopped.
Last month, La Porte County Police arrested three people from New York and Pennsylvania with more than two pounds of methamphetamine in their vehicle.
Police said they were on the Toll Road driving from Los Angeles to New York City when pulled over for speeding and tailgating.
La Porte County Police Capt. Derek Allen said there are no plans to stop a several-year effort to catch drivers transporting large amounts of drugs.
“This is a large load,” he said.
Allen said the amount of marijuana seized weighed 294 pounds, exceeding any amount of the drug confiscated by his department at least in recent memory.