FROM STAFF REPORTS
Two men face multiple felony drug charges after Iredell County Sheriff’s Office deputies seized more than 250 pounds of marijuana during a pair of traffic stops on Interstate 77.
Sheriff Darren Campbell announced the arrests of Fengming Li of Woodstock, Ga., and Xuequan Lu of Brooklyn, N.Y., in a news release.
Deputies assigned to the ICSO Interstate Criminal Enforcement Team conducted two separate traffic stops on Interstate 77 southbound in northern Iredell County on Thursday, according to the news release.
During the first traffic stop, deputies spoke with Lu and then deployed K-9 Bosco, who gave a positive indication to the presence of a controlled substance coming from inside the vehicle, Campbell said.
Deputies then searched the vehicle and found 118 pounds of high-grade marijuana inside the trunk, according to the news release.
As this traffic stop was being concluded, a second vehicle drove by the deputies and failed to move over as required by law for flashing blue lights, Campbell said. The suspect vehicle was stopped for this violation.
During the second stop, the deputies made contact with Li, the only occupant of the second vehicle.
Suspecting that the two vehicles could be traveling together, deputies deployed K-9 Abby, who gave a positive indication to the presence of a controlled substance coming from inside the vehicle, Campbell said.
During a search of the second vehicle, deputies located 138 pounds of high-grade marijuana inside the trunk.
Lu and LI were taken into custody and transported to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division for additional investigation.
During the investigation, it was determined both subjects were traveling together, along with a third car, which was not located, the sheriff said.
Lu and Li were charged with felony trafficking by possession of marijuana, felony trafficking by transportation of marijuana, felony possession with intent to sell or distribute marijuana, and felony conspiracy to traffic marijuana. Both Lu and LI were transported to the Iredell County Detention Center, where they appeared before Magistrate Chambers, who issued each suspect a $400,000 secured bond.
The estimated street value of the 256 pounds of marijuana was $2,331,440 based off an estimated price of $20 per gram.
“By removing this much illegal marijuana from the streets, it makes an immediate impact on the drug dealers who profit from this,” Campbell said. “Today we made a dent in their pocket and sent a message about hauling drugs through Iredell County.”