CHICAGO (CBS) – Two Florida men were arrested earlier this week after allegedly trying to smuggle $5 million worth of marijuana by hiding it in a large shipment of carrots.
Abraham Garcia-Acosta, 44, of Loxahatchee, Fla., and Diego Diaz-Perez, 49, of West Palm Beach, Fla., both have been charged with possession of cannabis with intent to deliver and have been ordered held on $15,000 bond, Cook County Sheriff’s police said.
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Acting on a tip, Cook County Sheriff’s investigators conducted surveillance on the two men, following them to two hotels in Elk Grove Village.
On Monday, officers observed a black Isuzu engaged in suspicious activity at the Days Inn in Elk Grove Village, Asst. State’s Atty. Kilby Macfadden said in court Tuesday.
The officers followed the rental car to a Motel 6 in Elk Grove Village, where they saw Garcia-Acosta exit the semi and enter the Isuzu, Macfadden said. After a few minutes, he got back into the truck before he drove off.
A short time later, officers stopped Garcia-Acosta in Mount Prospect after he committed a traffic violation while driving a white semi-tractor trailer truck with a Florida registration. Garcia-Acosta and Diaz-Perez, his passenger, allegedly gave police conflicting stories about where they were going and what was being shipped in the truck.Elk Grove Village Police canine units were called in for assistance, and the dogs detected the presence of drugs in the truck.
Sheriff’s police searched the truck and found 80 large plastic-wrapped bundles containing 1,173 pounds of marijuana, police said. A load of carrots was being used to conceal the drugs.
The drugs have an estimated street value of approximately $5,325,000, police said.
Garcia-Acosta and Diaz-Perez were arrested and, on Tuesday, bond was set at $15,000 for both men. They were due back in court on April 8, police said.
The driver of the Isuzu was not charged.
(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)