Crime

NORTH EAST — Two men have been charged with drug importation and other offenses after investigators confiscated 141 pounds of suspect marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $200,000 during a traffic stop near North East, according to Cecil County District Court records.

Maryland State Police Cpl. Erik McNeely arrested the suspects – Renzi Wang, 22, of Germantown and Jiating Weng, 23, of Gaithersburg – after stopping their Dodge Grand Caravan in the southbound lane of Interstate 95, south of North East, on Wednesday for speeding, police reported. Wang was driving the vehicle, which had Florida license plates, and Weng was his front-seat passenger, police noted.

McNeely dispatched MSP Cpl. Hirsch and his specially trained scent dog, K-9 Pascal, after observing “indicators of criminal activity,” court records allege. (Law enforcement officers typically do not specify indicators of criminal activity publically, to avoid compromising future investigations.)

The dog alerted to the presence of illegal drugs while performing a sniff scan outside the vehicle, police reported.

That, in turn, led to a probable-cause vehicle search in which investigators found four large black suitcases containing heat-sealed bags, police said. Those heat-sealed bags held a total of 141 pounds – or 64 kilos – of marijuana, police added.

“During the traffic stop, Wang advised they were traveling from New York. Based on the sheer weight and method of packaging the marijuana is indicative of the sale and distribution of (drugs). Estimated street value of the marijuana is approximately $211,500,” McNeely outlines in his statement of probable cause contained in court records.

Scheduled for Feb. 5 preliminary hearings, Wang and Weng are each charged with importing marijuana into the state, possession of a large amount of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of more than 10 grams of marijuana, court records show.

As of Thursday, Wang and Weng remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond, according to court records.

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