READING — A Minnesota state trooper confiscated 75 pounds of raw marijuana from a Pennsylvania resident traveling through Nobles County June 17.
The officer initiated a traffic stop when Gage McCarren, 29, of Pittsburgh allegedly crossed the white fog line on Interstate 90. While talking with McCarren, the trooper noted that McCarren seemed nervous, even though he was only issued a warning for the traffic violation.
Although McCarren claimed he was on his way back from a camping trip in Yellowstone National Park, the officer reported that the vehicle did not appear to contain any camping gear, other than a brand new fishing pole still in its packaging.
McCarren did not give consent for his vehicle to be searched, but a K9 officer did a sniff of the vehicle's exterior and indicated the presence of narcotics. Inside the truck, the officer located large duffel bags filled with a total of 75 pounds of raw marijuana, as well as a vacuum heat sealer and bags.
McCarren was arrested and charged with second-degree drug possession and second-degree drug sale, both felonies, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a petty misdemeanor. He faces a maximum possible sentence of 25 years in prison and/or a $500,000 fine.
He was released from Nobles County Jail June 19 after posting $10,000 of conditional bail.