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Co-drivers arrested when New Jersey weigh station inspection leads to discovery of $28.3 million in marijuana


Two men have been arrested after a New Jersey weigh station inspection led to the discovery of several tons of drugs.

The drug seizure occurred on March 12 at the  Greenwich Township Weigh Station located off I-78 in Warren County.

According to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, a truck entered the weigh station with a shipment manifested as oranges.

The truck was en route from Dinuba, California to Long Island City, New York.

Inspectors with the New Jersey State Police Mobile Safe Freight Unit noticed unlabeled cardboard boxes along with the pallets of orange.

Driver and co-driver Ruben V. Rodriguez, 53, and Jose Santa Cruz Cheno, 59, consented to a search.

Officers found 3.4 tons or 6,485 pounds of hydroponic marijuana, Delta 9A powder, and individual packages of cannabis products in the cargo area.

The estimated street value of the seized marijuana and associated products is $28,368,000.

Rodriguez and Cheno were booked into the Warren County Jail.

Authorities say that the co-drivers are legally in the U.S. from Mexico.

The co-drivers were both charged with first-degree possession with intent to distribute marijuana, fourth-degree possession of marijuana, and second-degree conspiracy to distribute marijuana.


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