|LOCKPORT, IL - The Illinois State Police (ISP) today announced the seizure of approximately 14,000 pounds of cannabis -- the largest non-border cannabis seizure from a motor vehicle ever in the United States. The shipment of cannabis was found Friday evening with investigative follow-up continuing over the weekend.|
The cannabis, with an estimated street value of more than $20 million, was located in a parked semi-trailer near Interstate 55 and Route 53 in Will County. Investigators are still attempting to identify the origin and ownership of the truck, which was registered in Texas. The driver of the truck has not been located.
"The sheer quantity of the cannabis was the most that many experienced drug agents have ever seen in one place," said ISP Director Sam W. Nolen. "A seizure of this magnitude will definitely disrupt the supply of marijuana to traffickers and users. It will have an impact."
Agents of the Narcotics and Currency Interdiction Team (NARCINT), part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area group, found the drugs after a Romeoville Police Department Canine Unit alerted on the semi-trailer. The cannabis was being transported in about 175 boxes -- on ten pallets -- in the trailer behind two pallets of jalapenos. Agents could not discuss the details which initially led them to the truck.
Assisting NARCINT in the investigation were the Chicago Drug Enforcement Administration and Joliet Metropolitan Area Narcotic Squad. Agents also worked closely with the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. Agencies participating in NARCINT with the Illinois State Police include the Chicago, Bolingbrook, Waukegan, Matteson, Dolton, and Round Lake Police Departments.
Nolen said trucks come to the area of the seizure due to its central location in the United States and the high volume of vehicle traffic. In 2000, NARCINT agents seized 18,000 pounds of cannabis.