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Semi-truck carrying produce also loaded with marijuana

Norberto De La Vega (Courtesy PCSO)

Semi-truck carrying produce also loaded with marijuana

CREATED Mar 15, 2013

Web Producer: Mekita Rivas

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - The Pinal County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Task Force seized 1,243 pound of marijuana from the back of a semi-truck carrying produce Wednesday. 

In a news release, PCSO spokesperson Tamra Ingersoll said that a deputy observed the driver change lanes without a turn signal, cut off vehicles and slow down to 40 miles per hour on the interstate. 

The deputy stopped the truck for the traffic violations. As the deputy approached the trailer of the semi-truck, he immediately smelled marijuana.

The driver of the truck was 59-year-old Norberto De La Vega from California, who told the deputy was returning to Los Angeles. The deputy retrieved his canine partner and the dog immediately detected narcotics on the trailer. Backup was then requested from the Narcotics Task Force. 

Inside the trailer, 32 large cardboard vegetable bins full of squash were found. As deputies continued to investigate and offload the trailer, a total of 1,243 pounds of marijuana was found hidden inside the cardboard bins. The marijuana has an estimated street value of nearly $925,000. De La Vega was placed under arrest and faces multiple drug offense charges. 

After the evidence was secured and ownership of the load was declined by all parties, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office donated the squash to St. Mary's Food Bank.