According to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the 51-year-old suspect used a van, with an attached trailer, to transport the illegal drugs. The suspect allegedly drove from his home in California to an apartment complex in Wharton, NJ and delivered up to 360 pounds of pot that had been packaged in cardboard boxes. The boxes were reportedly stamped with the Home Depot logo just in case police stopped the vehicle.
Morris County NJ authorities conducted a lengthy investigation into the drug trafficking operation, with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit and numerous local police departments in Morris County assisting with the investigation.
Police tracked the suspect as he delivered four boxes at the Wharton NJ apartment building and then left the area. Police later stopped the suspect’s van along Route 80 in Rockaway, New Jersey.
A subsequent search of the vehicle allegedly turned up 360 pounds of marijuana valued at roughly $1.4 million, making it the largest seizure of marijuana in Morris County NJ in 20 years.
While police waited for approval of a search warrant, the suspect reportedly fled New Jersey and went to Indiana. He was later located and placed under arrest.
Now the suspect is headed to prison after pleading guilty to serious criminal charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Since the quantity of pot in this case was greater than 25 pounds, the suspect was charged with a first degree crime.
The suspect recently made an appearance in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown NJ and admitted to transporting the marijuana into New Jersey.
While a first degree felony conviction typically results in a sentence of 10-20 years in NJ State Prison, it is expected that Morris County prosecutors will recommend that the suspect be sentenced to 7-10 years in state prison.
Additionally, the suspect will likely be required to forfeit his van, a 2011 Ford F350 pickup truck, as well as more than $123K that he had on him at the time of his arrest.
For further information about this case, read the DailyRecord.com article, “Calif. Man Admits Hauling Pot to Wharton.”