Troopers busted two drug smugglers with 20 pounds of marijuana in their trunk Friday near the Warren-Van Buren County line.
The men, Aaron Cortina, 24, and Herbert D. Torres, 23, both hail from Palm Bay, Fla., and were reportedly returning home following a cross-country trip to Oregon.
“Me and trooper Kevin Ballew were set up near the county line on Highway 30 when I clocked their car going 76 mph in a 55 mph zone,” said Highway Patrol Sgt. Jimmy Jones, noting he pulled the vehicle over. “I noticed they were acting strangely and something wasn’t right.”
Jones said he called for the Warren County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit to check out the vehicle. When K-9 officer Jared Jacobs arrived it wasn’t long before his dog alerted on the trunk area.
“There was 20 pounds of marijuana concealed in two bags in the trunk,” said Jones, noting he was thankful for the sheriff’s department canine unit’s ability to sniff out the illegal substance. “There were 18 pounds in buds and two pounds in what they call dabs which is very potent. It was all high-grade stuff.”
Faced with going to jail, Cortina tried to resist arrest and had to be taken by force. His drug charges have been joined by an additional charge of assault on an officer.
Jones said he discovered the men were in a rental car and they had rolled up 6,000 miles on the rental car in just a week.
The men are being held at Van Buren County Jail awaiting arraignment this week.