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Archive for Saturday, May 5, 2001

Conviction won in marijuana case

Seizure by patrol was largest drug bust in state’s history

May 5, 2001

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— An Indiana man has been convicted in a drug case that involved more than 3,000 pounds of marijuana.

Raymond Arrieta was found guilty Thursday of one felony count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Arrieta was arrested Nov. 19, 2000, after he pulled over his tanker-trailer on U.S. Highway 54 near Goddard because of a possible tire problem.

A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper became suspicious when he noticed that the tanker was not displaying any of the placards that normally are used to document liquids being transported on the highways.

When officers searched the truck they found 1,621 packages of marijuana, weighing about 3,383 pounds. The marijuana was valued around $2.3 million. Paperwork found inside the truck indicated that the marijuana shipment likely originated in Mexico and entered the United States in El Paso, Tex.

Arrieta, 31, from Jeffersonville, Ind., faces a minimum sentence of 20 years and maximum of life in prison. Sentencing is set for June 16.

The seizure was the patrol's largest marijuana bust, almost doubling the record set in 1994 in Johnson County when troopers seized about 1,800 pounds also hidden inside a semi-trailer truck. The third-largest marijuana seizure was in April 1999 when troopers in Lincoln County confiscated 1,015 pounds from the back of a U-Haul van along Interstate 70.

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