Update: The article was updated to reflect the total weight of marijuana discovered as 37 pounds.
WORTHINGTON — Two California men face felony drug charges in Nobles County District Court following the Nov. 8 discovery of nearly 40 pounds of marijuana in their vehicle.
Norberto Beltran-Corrales, 26, and James Kaykeo, 25, both of Porterville, Calif., each face third-degree controlled substance sale and possession charges. The maximum penalty if convicted is 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine or both.
The charges stem from a Nov. 8 Minnesota state trooper stop of a vehicle for traffic violations on Interstate 90.
The vehicle's driver, Kaykeo, told the officer the duo was on the way to Shakopee to visit a friend. When asked about a large tool box in the back of the vehicle, Kaykeo reportedly stated he added it to "weather proof" his luggage. The trooper noted the statement as odd, having observed luggage both inside the passenger compartment and under the large tool box of the pickup bed.
Kaykeo didn't have paperwork for the rental vehicle, which the officer discovered was due back to the rental company in California 40 minutes prior to his traffic stop.
The trooper's K-9 performed an exterior sniff of the vehicle and alerted to the likely presence of an illegal substance.
During a vehicle search, the trooper allegedly discovered marijuana in three separate duffel bags. The combined weight of the marijuana was 37 pounds.
Kaykeo said the marijuana belonged to him. Beltran-Corrales said he was "just along for the ride."
Beltran-Corrales' conditional bail is scheduled at $15,000; his unconditional at $30,000. Kaykeo's conditional bail was set at $20,000; his unconditional at $40,000.