Traffic stop leads to huge drug bust
Brothers jailed after 400 pounds of marijuana found in truck
BY RYAN S. CLARK
A routine traffic stop on Interstate 70 Wednesday led to the largest drug bust in recent local history.
The Criminal Interdiction Unit, comprised of officers from the Richmond Police Department and the Wayne County Sheriff's Department, recovered 400 pounds of marijuana near the Centerville Road exit, said Major Robert Hobson of the Richmond Police Department.
The estimated street value of the marijuana is between $700,000 and $800,000 but could be more because police believe the drugs are of high quality, Hobson said.
The quality along with the transport costs are factors impacting street value, he said.
Police arrested Hector Nunez, 43, of Huntsville, Ala., and his brother, Martin Nunez, of Newton, N.C., on charges of one count each of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class C felony and possession of marijuana over 30 grams, a Class D felony.
The brothers were taken to the Wayne County Jail, where they are being held on bonds of $15,000 each.
"Our goal out there is to remove drugs from the interstate and take care of the criminals," Hobson said.
"When you hear of something like this and how much was found, it surprises you."
The drugs were located in the flatbed of the truck, which was a late-model Chevy Avalanche, he said.
Because the Avalanche can be converted from a sport utility vehicle to a truck, there is a cover for the flatbed, unlike most trucks.
Police pulled the vehicle over because it was allegedly speeding on the interstate, Hobson said.
Following a short investigation, a K-9 unit was brought in to search the vehicle, where officers found the marijuana.
"At this point we don't know the purity of the marijuana," Hobson said. "But just by looking at it, we can tell that it's high quality."