The fifth huge pot bust in six weeks in Bergen County boosted the overall total in that time to nearly a ton of weed, along with a baker's dozen arrests, most of them involving carriers from Queens.
Two unemployed men from New York City's largest borough were nabbed with 120 pounds of pot during a traffic stop by Narcotic Task Force detectives this past Wednesday, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said, without specifying the area.
Xian Fang Mei, 62, and Xian Wei Tang, 39, were each charged with first-degree possession with the intent to sell the drug, the prosecutor said. They were then released pending first appearances in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, he said.
A little over two weeks ago, two other accused Queens sons of agronomy were caught hauling 400 pounds of marijuana, Musella said.
BLUNT OBJECTS: 400 Pounds Of Weed Seized, Duo Detained In Bergen Traffic Stop
Those arrests came just two weeks after the detectives seized more than a half-ton of pot and 50 pounds of edibles while charging five other jobless men from the former hometown borough of the Ramones with moving large drug shipments in and around Fort Lee.
CARRY THAT WEIGHT: Bergen Detectives Bust NYC Five With 1,100 Pounds Of Pot, 50 Lbs Of Edibles
Throw in a couple of busts by local police since the beginning of February and you’ve got 1,750 pounds of pot in all.
An illegal turn at a busy Leonia intersection led to the discovery of 150 pounds of marijuana, along with 8½ pounds of cocaine, two loaded handguns and $50,000 in proceeds.
Three more unemployed men -- from Ridgefield Park, Manhattan and Long Island – were arrested.
Illegal Turn Produces 8½ Lbs Of Coke, 150 Pounds Of Pot, Loaded Guns, $50K In Leonia
Then there’s the hundred pounds of bud – along with 30 pounds of cannabis oil and several pounds of “magic” mushrooms – that a Mahwah patrol officer found during the stop of a driver from the South on Route 17 this past Tuesday.
100 Pounds Of Pot, 30 Pounds Of Hash Oil, ‘Shrooms, More Seized In Route 17 Stop: Mahwah PD
You can legally possess up to six ounces under New Jersey’s relatively new marijuana laws. Because of that, some question why arrests are even made.
There are simple answers.
For one thing, any among over six ounces is still a crime. Major weight, on the other hand, brings harsher charges and stiffer fines.
Those who carry marijuana for personal use and those who sell it are in two different categories.
Those who say police should lay off the buzzkill and pursue more serious crime don’t realize that the two aren’t mutually exclusive, authorities say. Time, money and manpower isn’t lost in pot cases, they argue. In fact, some of those arrests can often lead to actually dangerous drugs and bigger fish.
Despite area law changes – or perhaps because of them – pot is as popular as ever.
The retail value when sold on the street depends on several factors, not the least of which is quality. Where it's due to be sold and in what amounts also play a role
Conservatively, wholesale estimates value street herb anywhere from $1,500 to $2,200 a pound.
At that rate, the amount seized by Musella's detectives, combined with the Leonia and Mahwah hauls, could fetch anywhere from $2.6 million to $3.85 million of untaxed income if busted up and sold on the street.
Click here to follow Daily Voice Bergenfield and receive free news updates.