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Monday, July 12, 2004

Corpus Christi Coastal Bend South Texas news, information, events calendar

Corpus Christi Coastal Bend South Texas news, information, events calendar
Police make largest pot bust in recent memory
822 pounds valued at $500K found under skateboard boxes in truck on I-37
By Mike Baird, Caller-Times / Posted: 3:48 PM
July 12, 2004

Corpus Christi police made their largest marijuana bust in the last few years Thursday, confiscating 822 pounds of the drug stashed behind Wal-Mart boxes filled with thousands of skateboards inside a semi-truck trailer traveling on Interstate 37.

The 52 bundles evaded police dogs at border patrol check stations before reaching the Interstate 37 and U.S. Highway 77 interchange on the outskirts of city limits, police said. The compressed pot was slathered with grease and talcum powder before being tightly wrapped in plastic, officials said.

Officers arrested the 46-year-old truck driver, William Harold Jordan Jr., on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. But the case is being turned over to Drug Enforcement Administration officials for federal charges to be filed, said Chief Pete Alvarez.

Federal authorities can pursue international drug trafficking charges, which carry stiffer penalties, Alvarez said.
"Although this is a significant seizure worth about half a million dollars, it’s a small fraction of the drugs continuously coming into this country from Mexico," Alvarez said. "For us it’s quite an accomplishment."

Officers pulled over the truck at about 1:15 p.m. while northbound on Interstate 37 for having no license plate, Alvarez said. The driver gave them a Houston address, he said.

Officers got permission to search the trailer because Jordan was "acting suspicious," Alvarez said.

The 18-wheeler doesn’t belong to Wal-Mart, and investigators haven’t identified the owner, officials said.

The semi-truck, marijuana, and boxes of skateboards were confiscated under state and federal seizure laws, Alvarez said. DEA officials will take the marijuana as evidence, Alvarez said.

"We’ll probably auction the truck," he said. "And we’ll give the skateboards to local children for Christmas."

Contact Mike Baird at 886-3774 or bairdm@caller.com

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