Fake saint leads to 62 pounds of marijuanaTwo Texas residents were charged this week in connection with transporting 62 pounds of marijuana through Carlton County.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Two Texas residents were charged this week in connection with transporting 62 pounds of marijuana through Carlton County.
Jorge Gutierrez-Salazar, 24, faces a felony charge of third-degree possession of a controlled substance, while Graciela Yadit Medrano, 21, is charged with felony third-degree possession of a controlled substance – aiding and abetting.
According to the complaint, the Rockwall, Texas, residents were stopped by a Minnesota State Patrol officer as they were driving a vehicle north on Interstate 35 just before noon on Jan. 5. Trooper David Vereecken stopped the vehicle because of an obstructed license plate and reported that as he spoke to the duo, their stories conflicted and made no sense. He then noticed a caricature of the Patron Saint of drug smugglers “Jesus Malverde” hanging from the defendant’s rear view mirror, court documents said.
Vereecken then called for assistance from the Fond du Lac Police Department for a drug detection dog. As Fond du Lac Sgt. Casey Rennquist walked “Victor” around the vehicle, the dog alerted at the trunk. As the trunk was opened, he specifically indicated to several pieces of luggage inside.
Two large bales of marijuana reportedly were found inside the luggage and a preliminary field weight by the trooper revealed the amount to be 62 pounds.
Salazar allegedly admitted to officers that the drugs belonged to him and claimed he was bringing the drugs to Duluth from Texas as a “favor to a sinister drug cartel he was familiar with.”
Medrano reportedly owned the vehicle and knew the drugs were inside.
Medrano’s family posted $10,000 bond, according to jail staff. Salazar’s bail was set at $50,000 and he remains in Carlton County Jail.