Cops Pull Over Semi on I-17; Find Old Juice and 1,300 Pounds of Pot

Here's another tip from the wide world of marijuana transportation: Apparently a bunch of expired juice boxes isn't a good cover for hauling more than 1,300 pounds of weed.

Nonetheless, police allege 45-year-old Wendell M. Stoddart of doing just that.

Police say an Arizona Department of Public Safety highway patrol officer pulled over a commercial tractor pulling a 53-foot trailer on I-17 in Phoenix February 3.

Underneath a bunch of boxes of expired "Big Burst Fruit Drinks" (which come in nine delicious flavors, according to their website), were wooden crates chock-full of marijuana bales.

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DPS Officer Robert "Bob" Bailey tells New Times that even though officers don't necessarily need consent for a commercial vehicle inspection, "things didn't seem quite up to par" with Stoddart.

When the officer first pulled up to talk to Stoddart, he was playing loud Christian music, and acting "very strange and nervous," Bailey says, which he notes is out of the ordinary for a commercial truck driver.

Bailey says the officer noticed Stoddart was driving a refrigerated trailer, and the load of juice did not need to be refrigerated -- especially since the boxes looked old and dusty, and the juice was expired "by quite a ways."

That's when cops found the 1,308 pounds of pot.


It seems Stoddart had come from the border area, since he was driving north on I-17, but police don't know what his destination was, Bailey says.

Stoddart, from New Hartford, Conn., was booked into the Maricopa County Jail, where he awaits charges of possession and transportation of marijuana for sale, and illegal control of an enterprise.


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