Cellphone stop in Bay Area leads to $1 million in marijuana, $1 million in cash

Two men were arrested this past week in the Castro Valley with 320 pounds of marijuana, valued at $1 million, and another $1 million in cash authorities reported. Their downfall–a faulty cell phone.

The suspects’ initial troubles began this past Saturday when a California Highway Patrol officer tried to pull over a van on Interstate 580 in Castro Valley due to the driver speaking on a cellphone while driving. 

During the routine stop, a car cut in front of the CHP vehicle to create a distraction so the van could get away, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s office which has supervision over the task force.

Both suspect vehicles tried to flee the scene but were stopped in the Castro Valley by the Californa Highway Patrol.

Once stopped officers discovered more than 200 pounds of marijuana in the sedan van and eight more pounds in the car. 

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A suitcase with a million in cash, along with more than $1 million of marijuana was seized over the weekend in Alameda and Castro Valley. (Alameda County Sheriff)

After further investigation, it was discovered the men also had a surplus of sensimilla in a storage locker in Alameda county. 

Task force members along and a sheriff’s office canine joined forces like Voltron to subsequently search the storage units. It was there they discovered the additional marijuana already in the process of being prepared for sale, along with a suitcase containing cash as well as sophisticated marijuana growing equipment.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said Monday that even though there are legalized uses of marijuana, the amount seized Saturday shows that it is a “lucrative business with a robust underground trade” that has inherent dangers like robberies, shootings and sometimes killings.

The two men, whose names have not been released, were formally arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale and the transporting of marijuana. It is unclear at this time if they have been formally charged with these offenses.