Posted: Jun 21, 2012 1:34 PM by Beth Saboe - MTN News
BOZEMAN- Two women are facing federal drug charges after authorities find 253 pounds of marijuana in their vehicle during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 90 in Bozeman on Saturday.
Court documents state Montana Highway Patrol trooper Dan Amundson stopped a black Chrysler van for speeding in a construction zone at around 11:30 p.m. on June 16th.
Xiao Meng Ma and Lan Luo, both of California, were inside the rental vehicle. Ma was driving and told Trooper Amundson that she and Luo were traveling from Washington to New York.
Amundsen reports smelling marijuana and says a search of the vehicle turned up six large duffel bags. Inside the bags were 200 smaller, vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana, weighing a total of 253 pounds.
Police reports say a "significant" amount of cash was also found in the van's glove box.
Both Ma and Luo are charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and the women are now set to appear in federal court in Missoula.
The federal charge carries a possible maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.