From The Tribune staff reports
LEEDS — Leeds Police Department confiscate nearly 1,000 pounds of marijuana in a routine traffic stop on Tuesday, January 18, at approximately 7:30 a.m.
According to the Leeds Police Department, a Leeds police officer made the stop on a Ford-450 with an attached camper running off the roadway while the vehicle was exiting Interstate 20 onto Ashville Road. The traffic stopped was executed at the Walgreens, where the two men inside the vehicle gave police consent to search the camper.
Leeds Police Cheif Paul Irwin said the stop was initiated because the driver appeared to be fatigued.
There they found 953 pounds of hydroponic marijuana, all in vacuum-sealed bundles. Hydroponic marijuana is grown with water, not soil.
Irwin said that every square inch of storage space had marijuana; the weed was hidden in the camper’s refrigerator, shower, under the bed, and in the undercarriage.
“The estimated value of this seizure is $3 million,” Irwin said.
The two suspects were traveling from California. There were conflicting reports on their destination, but investigators believe it was North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, or even all three states.
Those charged are Quan Xu, 32, of Mountain House, Calif., and Huaitian Li, 27, of Los Angeles. Both are being held in the St. Clair County Jail on bonds totaling $1.5 million each.
“Everyday officers make traffic stops, and these contacts can make an impact on our ability to combat criminal activity,’’ Irwin said. “Making a large drug seizure makes a difference in the community and our entire country.”