A routine traffic stop on Interstate 94 resulted in a drug bust worth an estimated street value of $4.25 million.
According to documents filed in Douglas County District Court, a Minnesota State Trooper watching traffic on I-94 near the town of Brandon stopped a truck pulling a camper just before 2 p.m. on Mar. 2.
The patrolman stopped the vehicle because of a large crack in the windshield and because the vehicle was weaving across the fog line on the side of the road.
The trooper spoke with two men in the vehicle, identified as Jared Michael Desroches, 30, of Missoula, Montana, and Alexander Clifford Gordon, 24, of Helena, Montana.
Conversation with the men led the trooper, who had a K9 with him, to believe that they were involved in drug smuggling.
After initially denying they had any illegal substances, Desroches admitted that there was some marijuana in the vehicle while Gordon claimed the camper was only filled with trash bags.
The trooper asked if he could search the vehicle and camper and Desroches said he suffers from PTSD and doesn't want anyone going through his things.
The K9 was then walked around the camper and indicated that drugs were present, but again Desroches claimed there was nothing but trash bags filled with clothing in the camper.
A search of the truck revealed marijuana along with canisters, pipes and glass jars with concentrated marijuana THC. Then the trooper opened the doors to the camper and found plastic garbage bags stacked from floor to ceiling, with each bag labeling its contents.
One of the labels read "24k" and named the brand of marijuana it was carrying.
There was 900 pounds of marijuana, 406 packages each containing 1 gram of THC concentrate, 112 jars of THC wax and $15,500 in cash.
Desroches admitted that he was transporting the controlled substances for a fee of $30,000. The trooper believes the $15,500 in their possession was half of that fee.
Both men have been charged with two counts of first-degree felony controlled substance possession, one for marijuana sales in excess 25 kilograms and another for possession of more than 50 kilos of marijuana.