Police corporal seizes five crates of marijuana

April 12, 1995|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

State police said they confiscated 432 pounds of marijuana from a tractor-trailer on Interstate 95 near Havre de Grace yesterday, the second largest amount they ever have seized.

The marijuana was discovered during a routine commercial vehicle inspection by Cpl. Paul Quill, who became suspicious when rig driver Frederick A. Tavares, 48, of Miami, showed him a handwritten cargo invoice, said Michael McKelvin, a state police spokesman.

Usually, invoices are typed on a form with a company's letterhead that also names a person or company to receive the shipment, Corporal Quill said. The handwritten invoice listed "5 crates" without a destination, he said.

As part of the inspection, Corporal Quill said, he opened the trailer doors and smelled a strong odor of marijuana.

He found five crates containing 106 bundles of compressed marijuana worth an estimated $500,000, Mr. McKelvin said.

"We've checked records and this seizure -- 432 pounds -- is the biggest since 1989 when we seized 1,600 pounds of marijuana on Interstate 81," he said.

The spokesman said 279 pounds of marijuana have been seized on Maryland highways in the past three years.

Mr. Tavares was charged with possession, possession with intent to distribute and smuggling marijuana. He was awaiting a bail hearing.

Mr. Tavares told police his destination was New York, Mr. McKelvin said.

He said police will begin forfeiture procedures for the tractor-trailer.

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