GENESEO, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois State Police made one of the largest drug busts in its 100-year history on Wednesday, seizing over 5,200 pounds of illegal marijuana near the Quad Cities.
Officials said the historic bust was made Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 80 in Henry County, just miles away from the border with Iowa. A State Trooper pulled a touring bus over and noticed signs of criminal activity. The trooper summoned a K9 unit and the dog detected scents of narcotics.
A search of the bus turned up numerous packages of illegal marijuana throughout the vehicle, officials said. Troopers found a total of 5,231 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated value of between $6.3 million and $14.7 million.
The two people operating the bus were arrested. 29-year-old Robert Mazo and 33-year-old Pedro Arreola are both from Lancaster, Calif., and they are facing Class X felony charges of marijuana trafficking and unlawful possession of over 5,000 grams of marijuana with intent to deliver. They are also facing Class 1 felony charges of unlawful possession of over 5,000 grams.
Officials said both suspects were taken to the Henry County Jail. The Henry County State’s Attorney’s Office initiated petitions for their detention, and hearings took place on Thursday. Subsequently, the judge released the two on pretrial conditions.
The investigation remains ongoing, with additional charges possible.