Missouri State Troopers Nab 3,700 Pounds of Marijuana

Missouri Highway Patrol
A file photo from a 2009 Missouri bust that netted just 1,350 pounds of pot.
Updated: 3:27 p.m.

Just spoke to Sgt. Jim Haggett of the Missouri Highway Patrol's Troop E. Haggett informs that while large, Sunday's bust of 3,669 pounds of pot is shy of the record 4,100 pounds of marijuana seized by his fellow Troop E officers a few years back.

Oh, and the biggest pot bust ever in Missouri by the highway patrol? That would be the 6,800 pounds confiscated by troopers outside Springfield several years ago.

Now for the original post:

A traffic stop in the Missouri bootheel uncovered nearly two tons of marijuana on Sunday.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, a commercial inspector signaled a tractor trailer to pull into a weigh station on Interstate 55 in rural Pemiscot County around 7 p.m. on February 7. The driver 47-year-old Renaldo Martinez initially stopped the rig at the station, but then tried to leave before making contact with the inspector.

Per the Missouri Highway Patrol:
Due to the driver's suspicious behavior, the commercial vehicle inspector contacted a trooper for assistance. During the course of the inspection the trooper obtained permission to search the vehicle and located 3,669 pounds of marijuana in the trailer. The driver, Renaldo M. Martinez, and passenger, Xavier Avila, 23, also of Dallas, Texas, were arrested for felony possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of more than 35 grams of marijuana, and taken to the Pemiscot County Jail.
The marijuana would have a street value of about \$3.6 million, according to the DEA's standard estimation of \$1,000 per pound.

Had that same amount of marijuana been synthetic pot (you know, the kind Missouri legislators want to outlaw) that same bust would have a street value of more than \$16 million.

How do we compute this? Well, synthetic pot sells for around \$10 per gram, and there are 453 grams in a pound. So 453 multiplied by 10 is 4530. Multiply that number by 3669 and, presto, you get \$16.6 million.