Pubdate: Sat, 02 Oct 2004
Source: Pantagraph, The  (IL)
Copyright: 2004 The Pantagraph
Author: Steve Silverman
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Mandatory Minimum Sentencing)


Trucker Stopped On Interstate 55

BLOOMINGTON -- What began as a routine traffic stop Thursday on
Interstate 55 ended with the arrest of a Texas man and the seizure of
1,600 pounds of marijuana valued at $1.6 million, prosecutors say.

During a brief hearing Friday in McLean County Circuit Court,
Associate Judge William DeCardy ordered Ramiro Anguiano jailed in lieu
of $1 million. He faces felony charges of marijuana trafficking and
possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

If convicted of the trafficking charge, Anguiano would face a
mandatory prison term ranging from 12 to 60 years.

In court Friday, Assistant State's Attorney Jeff Horve said an
Illinois State Police trooper stopped Anguiano on I-55 because the
license plate on his semitrailer truck was dangling from a wire. An
inspection followed in which police found 17 pallets containing 1,600
pounds of marijuana, Horve said.

Horve said the marijuana was packaged for sale. Authorities valued the
drugs at $1.6 million based on an estimated price of $1,000 for a
pound of marijuana in the Twin Cities.

Anguiano, 32, reportedly has no prior record. He is from Weslaco, a
town of 26,935 people on the southernmost tip of Texas in the Rio
Grande Valley.

Horve declined to provide additional details on the case. The state
police also declined comment.

The seizure is one of the largest marijuana busts in McLean County

In 1994, police found 2,740 pounds of marijuana in the truck of
44-year-old Billy Wayne Sessions of Childress, Texas. He was pulled
over for speeding on I-55 near Bloomington-Normal.

He later was convicted of drug charges and sentenced to 14 years in
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