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State police: Trooper spots speeding minivan on Northway in Queensbury, discovers 179 pounds of marijuana

State police: Trooper spots speeding minivan on Northway in Queensbury, discovers 179 pounds of marijuana

The stop happened at Exit 19, troopers say
State police: Trooper spots speeding minivan on Northway in Queensbury, discovers 179 pounds of marijuana
Marijuana seized by state police
Photographer: New York State Police

QUEENSBURY -- A traffic stop of a southbound minivan on the Northway in Queensbury last week resulted in the discovery and seizure of 179 pounds of marijuana, state police said.

The traffic stop happened just after noon July 9 at the Exit 19 southbound ramp after the trooper spotted the vehicle speeding, state police said.

The driver, identified as Manuel S. Torres, 25, of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, pulled over and during the trooper's interview with the driver, the trooper smelled the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle, state police said.

A search of the vehicle uncovered multiple duffel bags, each containing marijuana that together weighed in at 179 pounds, state police said.

Troopers had also spotted a second vehicle that had been following the minivan too closely and pulled that driver over. State police determined that driver, identified as Antoine Benoit, 20, also of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, had rented both vehicles, troopers said.

Both Torres and Benoit were arrested and charged with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana and fourth-degree conspiracy, felonies.

They were arraigned and ordered held on $7,500 bail.

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