Half-ton of marijuana found in fake delivery van

February 7, 2019

KINGMAN — More than a half-ton of marijuana was seized during a Tuesday night traffic stop near the Nevada border in northern Mohave County.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said the pot was confiscated from a fake delivery van spotted on Interstate 15.

“While the van had authentic-looking markings of a commercial package-delivery service, an officer with ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division noticed that the vehicle, traveling north toward the Virgin River Gorge, had an out-of-state license plate on the front,” an ADOT news release stated. “Local delivery vans for the company have Arizona plates and registration, but a check of records later showed the vehicle was registered to an individual in North Carolina.”

ADOT officers stopped the van for alleged traffic infractions and summoned a drug dog that alerted on the vehicle, which prompted a search.

“Officers found large plastic bags containing 1,113 pounds of marijuana, as well as 5 grams of a mushroom-based hallucinogenic,” ADOT said. Officials said three vials of illegal steroids and nearly $8,000 in cash also was seized.

The 48-year-old driver, whose identity was not released, was arrested and booked into jail at a detention center in nearby Mesquite, Nevada, pending transfer to the Mohave County Adult Detention Facility in Kingman. The van was impounded at ADOT’s commercial port of entry in St. George, Utah.

ADOT officers enforce laws related to the agency’s transportation responsibilities, including commercial vehicle permits, registration and driver license fraud and unlicensed auto dealers. Last year, ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division began using K-9 units based out of ports of entry to help reduce smuggling of drugs and people.

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