PORT ALLEN, LA (FOX44) — Deputies from Iberville and West Baton Rouge Parish recovered $1.4 million of synthetic marijuana during a traffic stop on I-10. Officials say this is the largest synthetic drug bust in the state’s history.
Officials say the bust happened on Thursday, August 1 at roughly 8:40 p.m. It all started when a deputy observed a speeding vehicle driving recklessly near mile post 149.
"We have a team of anywhere from 10-15 narcotic guys on I-10 in both directions at any given day and time," claimed West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Mike Cazes.
The driver, Kalid Jaber, 35, allegedly had inconsistencies in his story when the deputy asked where he was traveling. The deputy allegedly noticed bags of marijuana in plain view from the window of the vehicle.
A search of the vehicle was conducted and they found 325.5 pounds of synthetic marijuana.
Jaber reportedly drove from New Orleans and planned to distribute the drugs in Port Allen and Lafayette. Most of the packages were labeled with pictures of Scooby-Doo, which Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi indicated to be a sign that the drugs were going to be sold to children.
"We're gonna be targeting these people that are selling this stuff, we're gonna target the people that's getting it, and we will not stop until we can eradicate it from our area," Stassi said.
He mentioned that synthetic marijuana has been a problem locally for two or three years. A new law took effect August 1 declaring any known compound of synthetic marijuana to be illegal. But enforcing the law is difficult because the formula changes frequently.
"It's a epidemic that we have to look forward to and [we] have to battle through it," he said. "These actual chemical agents that they're using on this product, and the ramifications of it, we'll know in the future. It's gonna be a long time 'til we know exactly what all these chemicals are doing to our young kids."
Jaber was arrested and booked into the West Baton Rouge Parish Prison.