Traffic Stop Nets Nearly 200 Pounds of Pot Found Wrapped Like Christmas Presents

A couple driving north toward Tucson the day after Christmas was caught with nearly 200 pounds of marijuana disguised like holiday presents.

The Nogales, Arizona, couple were stopped on Interstate 19 for a traffic violation, according to an Arizona Department of Public Safety news release:

Inside of their vehicle, concealed neatly in wrapping paper, were not toys but bundles of marijuana totaling 185 pounds.

The release also contained a quote from DPS Director Roger Vanderpool:

This one traffic stop provides a snapshot of what law in enforcement in Arizona is facing in the ongoing battle against violent drug cartels doing business in the state. Thanks to the professionalism of these DPS officers, these arrests will help our criminal investigators follow a trail that will hopefully lead to more arrests in the effort to keep our communities safe.

All in all, DPS seized a whopping four tons of pot on state highways last month. While the news release calls the gift-wrapped pot "one of its most unique" seizures, smugglers provided competition in December for that honor. The top prize for creativity still belongs to the cloned UPS truck containing more than a ton of the green stuff. -- Ray Stern

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.