Tons of pot seized in California traffic stop

The Associated PressJuly 10, 2014 

— Police in Central California said Thursday they seized more than 3 tons of packaged marijuana after pulling over a U-Haul driver who ran a red light.

Two officers smelled marijuana during the traffic stop early Wednesday, said Sgt. Joe Grubbs of the Bakersfield Police Department, adding that a police dog brought to the scene alerted authorities to something inside.

Officers cut the lock on the truck, and Grubbs said they found 252 bales of marijuana wrapped in plastic weighing 6,732 pounds.

Grubbs said his department doesn't track all seizures by quantity, but he said this was an exceptional amount.

"It's the largest in recent memory that anybody around here remembers," he said.

Two Bakersfield men, Daniel Ruiz, the 22-year-old driver, and his passenger, 24-year-old Jose Alcarez, were booked into the Kern County Jail on suspicion of possession and transportation of marijuana for sale and conspiracy. It wasn't immediately clear whether they had attorneys.

The investigation was ongoing, said Grubbs, who declined to say if the seized drugs were the work of a trafficking organization. He said officers promptly destroyed the drugs.

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