It was a busy weekend for Nebraska State troopers patrolling I-80 in western Nebraska, as they discovered 86.5 pounds of pot and 5,000 hash oil vape cartridges in vehicles traveling east on I-80.
The drugs were found in western Nebraska, in one-a-day traffic stops from Friday to Monday.
Three of the four stops were near North Platte.
The string of arrests began when a trooper pulled over Anna McArthur, 34, of Mahnomen, Minn. for a defective headlight around 8:45 p.m. Friday, two miles east of the Hershey exit. (See the original story on the front page of this website.)
During the stop, the trooper became suspicious of criminal activity and searched the vehicle, Nebraska State Patrol spokesman Cody Thomas said. He found 5.5 pounds of marijuana.
McArthur was taken to the Lincoln County jail. Bond was set at $150,000.
At approximately 1:50 p.m. Saturday, a trooper saw an eastbound 2018 Cadillac STS fail to move over for an emergency vehicle six miles east of North Platte on I-80.
During the stop, the trooper detected the odor of marijuana from inside the vehicle, Thomas said.
A search turned up approximately 5,000 THC hash oil vape cartridges, plus an ounce of suspected khat.
Khat is a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It contains a stimulant that is said to cause excitement, loss of appetite, and euphoria, according to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
The driver, Mohamed Abdulla, 25, of Brooklyn, N.Y. and passenger Sarhan Abdullah, 43, of New Haven, Conn. were taken to the Lincoln County jail, charged with possession with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance, and no drug tax stamp.
Each man is held on a $150,000 bond.
At 4:35 p.m. Sunday, a trooper stopped an eastbound 2016 Toyota SUV for speeding in western Nebraska, just 18 miles inside the state line on I-80. The trooper searched the vehicle after becoming suspicious of criminal activity, Thomas said.
Troopers found 26 pounds of marijuana in the luggage, he said.
The two occupants — Keshi Wu, 38, of Alameda, California, and Minchao Yu, 36, of Brooklyn, N.Y. — were also charged with possession of more than a pound of marijuana, possession with intent to deliver, and no drug tax stamp.
Both men were taken to the Kimball County jail.
On Monday, Oct. 8, at approximately 4:15 p.m., a trooper stopped an eastbound 2015 Lexus SUV for speeding about seven miles east of North Platte on I-80.
Thomas said the trooper became suspicious of unspecified criminal activity and searched the SUV, where he found 55 one-pound packages of marijuana inside bags in the cargo area.
The driver, Viktoria Belan, 40, of Mount Prospect, Ill. was charged with possession of more than a pound of marijuana, possession with intent to deliver and no drug tax stamp. She was taken to the Lincoln County jail.