Troopers seize 38 pounds of marijuana in Ouachita traffic stop

Published 8:55 am Wednesday, October 24, 2007

MONROE, La. (AP) — Two men were jailed after state troopers confiscated more than 38 pounds of marijuana hidden inside door panels of a car during a traffic stop, authorities said.

Carlos Rodriquez Serna Jr., 30, of Bryan, Texas, and Jose Romero-Ortiz, 27, address unknown, were arrested Tuesday, said Trooper Mark Dennis, a spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop F.

Dennis said troopers stopped a 1992 Ford Taurus in the eastbound lane of Interstate 20 in Ouachita Parish for an equipment violation. As troopers questioned Serna, the driver, he appeared to be very nervous, he said.

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After getting permission to search the car, state police found 29 packages of marijuana, weighing 38.3 pounds, hidden in all four door panels of the car, Dennis said.

The marijuana is valued at more than $40,000 and troopers believe the drugs were en route to Atlanta, he said.

Serna was booked with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, conspiracy to distribute marijuana and driving with a suspended license. Ortiz was booked on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute marijuana. He also faces U.S. Immigration violations, Dennis said.

Both men were booked into Ouachita Correctional Center. Bond has not been set.