(Update) 2 traffic stops in Cass County net more than 470-pounds of marijuana


January 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

It turns out four were people arrested and more than 470-pounds of marijuana with a combined street value of $1.13-million was seized during two separate traffic stops on Interstate 80 in Cass County, on Wednesday. Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Scott Bright confirms information provided to KJAN by the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, that two men from New Mexico and two from Connecticut were arrested.  Earlier, Bright had said just one person was arrested.

28-year old Mario Carmono, and 33-year old Oscar Salinas-Olivas, both of Albuquerque, NM, were arrested soon after the vehicle they were in was pulled over for speeding on I-80, at around 10-a.m. Wednesday. Bright says an Iowa State Patrol Trooper stopped a vehicle traveling east on I-80. After talking with the driver, the Trooper believed criminal activity was underway. A search of the vehicle was conducted using a K-9 unit. After the dog alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle, authorities located 363-pounds of marijuana.

Sgt. Bright says the pot, which was packaged in a “brick-style,”  has an estimated street value in excess of $871,200. Bright said the driver told the Trooper he was enroute to Minnesota via I-80 and I-35. Carmono and Salinas-Olivas were arrested for Possession of a controlled substance/marijuana with the Intent to Deliver, Prohibited Acts, and failure to affix a drug tax stamp. Both men were brought to the Cass County Jail in Atlantic.

During the second traffic stop, 110-pounds of marijuana, valued at around $264,000, was seized. Officials say 20-year old Warren Thomas LaPorte, of Jewett City, CT, and 26-year old Richard Rose, of Chaplin, CT, were arrested on two felony counts each of Possession with the Intent to Deliver/Marijuana, two-counts of Drug Tax Stamp Violation, and one count each of Prohibited Acts.