April 18, 2014

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Man arrested with 31 pounds of marijuana in his car

Drugs headed for the Chicago area were intercepted in Lorain County during a traffic stop on the Ohio Turnpike on Monday afternoon, leading to the arrest of an Illinois man, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.

The bust yielded 31 pounds of BC Bud marijuana, a highly potent form of marijuana typically grown in British Columbia. It has a THC content — the element in marijuana that gives it its potency — of 30 percent, compared with only 4 percent in typical marijuana.

The marijuana, believed to be valued at more than $124,000, was found in a suitcase and duffel bag in the back of a 2009 Toyota Prius driven by 32-year-old Jose Duran of Aurora, Ill., trooper said.

The drugs were individually packaged in several dozen small resealable plastic bags.

According to troopers, Duran was heading west on the Ohio Turnpike shortly before 4:30 p.m. when he was pulled over by troopers near milepost 149 in Amherst Township.

About 31 pounds of high-grade marijuana were found Monday during a traffic stop on the Ohio Turnpike. (Photo courtesy of the State Highway Patrol.)

About 31 pounds of high-grade marijuana were found Monday during a traffic stop on the Ohio Turnpike. (Photo courtesy of the State Highway Patrol.)

Sgt. Richard Reeder said Duran was going 71 mph in a 65 mph zone prior to being stopped and failed to stay within the marked lanes.

During the stop, troopers say Duran gave conflicting stories and seemed overly nervous, both of which prompted troopers to call for a drug-sniffing K-9.

Duran was charged with possession of drugs, a third-degree felony. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He was taken to the Lorain County Jail.

Reeder said Duran was not cooperative with investigators and has refused to answer questions about where he was coming or going, but troopers believe the drugs were headed for Chicago.

Through August 2009, troopers throughout Ohio have seized more than 3 million grams of drugs valued at approximately $19.3 million. In 2008, the patrol seized more than 5.2 million grams of drugs valued at approximately $47.5 million.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.