I’m not sure where the seizure happened, but I live in Bloomington, just a few blocks from I-55, so it was pretty close. Reported in the Pantagraph:
BLOOMINGTON — What began as a routine traffic stop Thursday on Interstate 55 ended with the arrest of a Texas man and the seizure of 1,600 pounds of marijuana valued at $1.6 million, prosecutors say. …
In court Friday, Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Horve said an Illinois State Police trooper stopped Anguiano on I-55 because the license plate on his semitrailer truck was dangling from a wire.æ An inspection followed in which police found 17 pallets containing 1,600 pounds of marijuana, Horve said. …
Anguiano, 32, reportedly has no prior record.æ He is from Weslaco, a town of 26,935 people on the southernmost tip of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley.
Of course, Anguiano is just the driver — probably some poor slob who knows nothing operation, but was promised the opportunity to get rich quick.
The interesting thing to me is that the truck had the license plate dangling from a wire. It’s sloppy. Now it’s possible that everyone from the top down is equally dumb, but I doubt it. It seems to indicate that $1.6 million worth of pot is simply such a small part of the operation that it’s not worth the effort to oversee the details of such things like vehicle inspections. Yep, they lose a truck, 1,600 pounds of pot, and a schmuck driver, and they probably write it off as a normal cost of business — not much different to them than the DVD that gets shoplifted at Wal-Mart.
Gives you a sense of the economic scale of the criminal black-market that is created by prohibition, doesn’t it?