I-84 TRAFFIC STOP TURNS UP 30lbs. IF HIGH-GRADE POT

July 22, 2002 11:00 pm

NORTH POWDER — A 30-year-old Salem man is in the Union County Jail after an Oregon State Police trooper found 30 pounds of high-grade marijuana in a car he stopped for speeding on Interstate 84.

The car's driver and only occupant, Jose Luis Hernandez-Perez, was driving a 1995 Ford Taurus near North Powder. He is charged with unlawful possession, manufacture and delivery of marijuana, said OSP Lt. Reg Madsen.

"This is a pretty substantial marijuana seizure," Madsen said. "Thirty pounds is certainly one that will be remembered for a while."

The marijuana has an estimated street value of $30,000, Madsen said.

Police consider the marijuana "high-grade" because it contains a high percentage of buds from marijuana plants, he said.

Buds have a higher concentration of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, than other parts of the plant such as the leaves, stems and seeds, Madsen said.

Hernandez-Perez was driving eastbound Sunday morning when Trooper Jason Stone of the OSP's La Grande office stopped him for speeding.

During the stop, Stone discovered the marijuana "concealed within the vehicle," Madsen said.

He declined to say whether Hernandez-Perez consented to the search, or to discuss any other details of the incident.

The marijuana was packed in 30 individual quart-size freezer bags, Madsen said.