Troopers with the West Virginia State Police made a significant drug bust on Monday when they noticed a man driving strangely along Interstate 70 in Ohio County.
According to a release, just before 1 p.m. on Monday, Corporal McFarland with the West Virginia State Police noticed a black Nissan Rogue with Missouri license plates speeding along Interstate 70 eastbound near mile marker 5.
Corporal McFarland then followed the vehicle and according to the release saw the vehicle go from 65 mph, in a 55 mph zone, quickly slow to 45 mph causing traffic to abruptly slow down and pass along both sides. The vehicle was pulled over at the Cabela Drive exit.
The release states that when Corporal McFarland approached the vehicle, he could clearly see two large brown duffel bags in plain sight in the backseat. The corporal noticed that the duffel bags were stretched in an odd way that would not be consistent for containing clothing.
The corporal spoke to the driver who was identified as, Shouqi Li, by his driver’s license. While speaking to Li, the passenger, Hsun Jung Chang kept trying to take control of the conversation and did the majority of the talking. Corporal McFarland then asked Li to get out of the vehicle, according to the release.
Once Li was out of the vehicle the release said the driver gave Corporal McFarland a fake international driver’s license with a Colorado address. It was later determined that Chang was in the United States illegally, self admittedly for 12-years longer than he was originally permitted to be. The release went on to say that Chang they were coming from Indiana, but the rental car they were driving was picked up in on May 19 in Denver Colorado. Chang, the driver, also said they were going to visit his family in New York, but he didn’t know what city and did not have an address for their New York destination.
The passenger, Shouqi Li, did not give police permission to search the vehicle. K9 officer Zoro conducted an exterior sniff and indicated that there were drugs inside the vehicle. Officers searched the inside of the car and found several foil type bags labeled as Chinese Tea that had secondary bags that felt to have been vacuum sealed and containing what felt like marijuana buds. Corporal McFarland then opened one of the blue foil Chinese Tea bags and saw a vacuum sealed bag containing marijuana, as stated in the release.
According to the release, a wheeled bag contained 7 of these blue foil bags all containing suspected marijuana. Li and Chang were then placed under arrest and secured in vehicles. DHS Immigration was notified of the pending charges against Chang.
A further search of the vehicle resulted in locating 29 blue and or reddish brown foil bags in the two large duffle bags in the rear cargo area of the vehicle. It was noted that numerous dryer sheets had been laid under and in the brown duffel bags in an attempt to conceal the odor of marijuana.
Li and Chang were each charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana, Transporting Narcotics into the State of West Virginia and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony against the State of West Virginia and face 3 to 45 years imprisonment.
Li and Chang were transported to West Virginia State Police – Wheeling for processing and later to Northern Regional Jail for incarceration while awaiting arraignment.
Total weight of the marijuana seized was approximately ninety-four pounds with a street value of over 1.2 million dollars.