YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Federal agents seized 130 pounds of high-quality marijuana worth more than a half-million dollars, along with two cars and $30,000 in cash during a drug bust in Westwood. Township police took two women who came from an area 10 miles south of Canada to the Bergen County Jail early Tuesday afternoon.
Janine M. Murray, Julie T. Ruben (MUGSHOTS courtesy WESTWOOD PD)
Plainclothed DEA agents waiting for the right opportunity boxed in a gray Chevrolet Impala and a trailing car, both with New York license plates, on Forest Avenue near Ruckner Road around 6:30 p.m. Monday.
“Neither driver could give a good account of what they were doing in the area,” Westwood Police Chief Frank Regino told CLIFFVIEW PILOT early this afternoon.
“Officers detected a very intense odor of raw marijuana inside one of the vehicles,” the chief said.
Three officers in bullet-proof vests quickly had one woman in handcuffs and began searching the Impala with her consent. Inside, they found the British Columbian pot packaged in heat-sealed, one-pound bundles worth roughly $650,000 if broken up and sold by the pound, Regino told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
They also stopped an accompanying car, also with out-of-state plates and arrested the driver.
Julie T. Ruben, 50, of Winthrop, N.Y., and 47-year-old Janine M. Murray of Brasher Falls are being held on $150,000 cash bail each at the Bergen County Jail, charged with first-degree marijuana possession with the intent to distribute the drug, among other counts.
Their respective communities — with barely 1,150 residents — border the Saint Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation, which extends into both countries divided by the international border. Authorities earlier this year busted another Winthrop resident on charges of having 100 pounds of hydroponic marijuana for sale.
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