QUEENSBURY — Two men from Quebec were jailed Tuesday night after a strange pair of traffic stops on the Northway led to the seizure of 180 pounds of marijuana, according to State Police.
Police said the two were delivering the marijuana from Canada to Boston, using two vehicles, but the lead driver’s decision to drive 78 mph on the interstate led to him getting pulled over.
That stop prompted a man who was driving in another vehicle as security of some sort to stop as well, which piqued the interest of state troopers.
Their interest grew when the second driver denied knowing the man at whose traffic stop he lingered, even though they were both from the same town and driving rental cars from the same Canadian rental agency.
Troopers smelled marijuana in one of the vehicles, and a search resulted in seizure of several bags that contained about 180 pounds of weed as well as $3,400 in cash, according to State Police.
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Despite legislative discussions about legalization, marijuana is still illegal under New York law.
Troopers eventually determined that the duo were part of a ring and were working together to transport the pot, so both were charged.
Charged with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana and fourth-degree conspiracy, both felonies, were Antoine Benoit, 25, and Manuel S. Torres, 20, both of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, police records show.
Torres was driving the car with marijuana, while Benoit was the driver serving as “security” who stopped with him when he was pulled over.
They were arraigned in Queensbury Town Court and sent to Warren County Jail for lack of bail.