A traffic stop eight miles east of Jamestown on Interstate 94 Sunday morning, Jan. 21, resulted in 476 pounds of marijuana being seized, according to the Stutsman County Sheriff's Office.
The seizure Sunday has resulted in almost 700 pounds of marijuana being confiscated by the sheriff's office in a little more than a month.
Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said around 9 a.m. Sunday, a deputy observed a Toyota Tundra pickup truck with a topper traveling east on Interstate 94 near mile marker 266. Kaiser said the truck was traveling below the speed limit, and the deputy started following it. He said the deputy saw a faster vehicle pass the truck, and when the faster vehicle pulled back into the travel lane, the pickup truck did not slow down and was following the passing vehicle too close.
Kaiser said the deputy pulled the pickup truck over, and a search of the truck yielded 470 heat-sealed bags holding 476 pounds of marijuana.
Kaiser identified the driver as Nhia Lee, 36, St. Paul, Minn., and the passenger as Bee Thor, 37, Oshkosh, Wis. Both were arrested and made their initial appearance in Southeast District Court Monday, Jan. 22, in Jamestown.
They are charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, marijuana, a Class A felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor. Lee and Thor are in custody in the Stutsman County Correctional Center. Each has had bail set at $200,000.
On Dec. 13, a sheriff's deputy found 198 1/2 pounds of marijuana being transported in a minivan driven by Mae Thao, 31, St. Paul, with a passenger, Xang Thao, 30, Redding, Calif. The minivan was pulled over for a traffic stop about nine miles east of Jamestown. Both Thaos remain in the Stutsman County Correctional Center with bail set at $500,000 each. A preliminary hearing for Xang Thao is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday in Southeast District Court in Jamestown.
Kaiser said he is concerned that 674 pounds of marijuana have been taken from vehicles traveling through the Jamestown area in a five-week period.
"It is unusual and very concerning to me that this amount of marijuana is moving through our community," he said.