Pot haulers face up to 20 years in prison after marijuana fell out of their flatbed trailer

Pot haulers face up to 20 years in prison after marijuana fell out of their flatbed trailer
After a motorist reported seeing a package fall from a flatbed trailer, a trooper searched under the trailer where he found a false compartment, which had broken open, and was losing clear, plastic bags of suspected marijuana on I-80. (NEBRASKA STATE PATROL)

KEARNEY, Neb. — More than 120 pounds of marijuana that fell from a flatbed trailer onto Interstate 80 in January could cost the driver and his female passenger time in prison.

Charlie Red, 49, of Sedalia, Colorado, and Damaisy De La Caridad Rodriguez, 29, of Florida both pleaded no contest in Buffalo County District Court to felony distribution of marijuana . They each face up to 20 years in prison.

Late Friday, Red remained at the Buffalo County Jail on $150,000 bail. He must post 10 percent of that, or $15,000, to be released. Rodriguez is free on bail.

On Jan. 19, a motorist reported seeing a package fall from a flatbed trailer being pulled by a Dodge Ram pickup driving east on I-80 one mile west of Odessa. The motorist stopped and picked up one of the packages, which contained marijuana.

The pickup pulled over to the shoulder of I-80 two miles west of the Kearney interchange, where Red and Rodriguez were met by a Nebraska State Patrol trooper. Red told the trooper that they were on their way to Pennsylvania to pick up a car.

The trooper lay on the ground and looked under the trailer, where he found a false compartment that had broken open and was spilling clear, plastic bags of marijuana on I-80.

Troopers say they found an estimated 122 pounds of marijuana under the trailer.

The drugs had a street value of $366,000, the patrol estimated.

Red will be sentenced in September, and Rodriguez will be sentenced in October.

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