Two pot-filled SUVs seized
Two Santa Rosa men were arrested in western Colusa County after a traffic stop led to the discovery of more than $500,000 worth of suspected marijuana in two sport-utility vehicles, authorities said Tuesday.
The arrests marked the fourth major drug discovery in a summer when county law enforcement has seized a record amount of the drug.
“We have no doubt this is the result of a grow that we didn't discover,” said Lt. Doug Turner of the Colusa County Sheriff's Department.
Monday's incident appears unconnected to the three pot raids conducted since late July, which have led to the seizure of about 36,000 plants.
At 10:10 p.m., a state Fish and Game warden stopped a 1999 GMC Yukon on Bear Valley Road some 20 miles west of Williams. When the warden tried to read the obscured rear license plate, the SUV's two occupants fled into the nearby woods, Turner said.
The warden called a deputy to the scene. Inside the vehicle, they found six duffel bags and a plastic trash bag filled with 1-pound bags of marijuana, the Sheriff's Department said.
Meanwhile, a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe drove up to the scene. The deputy noticed a garbage bag inside that also contained bags of pot, according to Turner.
A county Narcotics Enforcement Team agent arrived, and the officers arrested the two men in the Chevrolet: Sandro Angel Bejar, 28, and Juan Rubio Escalera, 23, both of Santa Rosa.
County narcotics agents on Tuesday found 19 pounds of pot in Bejar and Escalera's SUV and another 120 pounds in the GMC, according to the Sheriff's Department, with an estimated street value of $556,000.
Both men were booked into Colusa County Jail on $50,000 bail for investigation of transporting marijuana.
The occupants of the GMC were still at large as of Tuesday afternoon, Turner said.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Howard Yune can be reached at 749-4708. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.