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Truck Driver Inadvertently Leads Police to Several Tons of Marijuana

The truck driver, who was transporting electronics from San Diego to a Tustin business, authorities said.

A trucker who called police this week when he thought he was going to be hijacked inadvertently led Tustin police to 12 tons of marijuana worth about $7 million, a sergeant said today.

The truck driver, who was transporting electronics from San Diego to a Tustin business, was apparently unaware that bricks of marijuana were hidden in the rest of his cargo, Tustin police Sgt. Andrew Birozy said.

The unidentified trucker called police about 8 a.m. Monday, saying he suspected two men in a van, who represented themselves as law enforcement officers, were actually hijackers, Birozy said.

The man in the passenger seat showed the trucker, who was driving alongside the van, some sort of badge hanging from a chain on his neck and ordered him to pull over, Birozy said.

The truck driver doubted the two men were legitimate law enforcement personnel, so he pulled into a business in the 1100 block of Warner Avenue in Tustin, where an armed security guard notified police, Birozy said.

The men in the van "lingered in the area for a time," but left before police arrived, Birozy said.

Tustin police later confirmed no law enforcement agency was involved in the attempt to stop the truck, Birozy said. While inspecting the goods in the truck, police discovered the marijuana, but do not suspect the driver knew he was carrying the illegal cargo, Birozy said.

Tustin police turned over the marijuana to a local task force than handles narcotics crimes, Birozy said.

The van's driver was described as a Latino man about 30 years old with a shaved head, and was wearing gray plaid shorts, according to the sergeant.

The passenger was described as a Latino man with a thin build, who was wearing what appeared to be a black, ballistic-type vest, Birozy said.

Anyone with information was asked to call detectives at (714) 573-3246.

-- City News Service

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