THERESA — An Erie County man is charged with possessing more than $400,000 worth of marijuana following a traffic stop Sunday in the town of Theresa.
Robert G. Bonspiel, 42, of Grand Island, was charged Monday by state police with first-degree criminal possession of cannabis, a felony.
Police say Mr. Bonspiel was turned over to state police after U.S. Border Patrol agents from Wellesley Island conducted a vehicle stop and allegedly found a large amount of marijuana packed in duffle bags in the vehicle’s rear.
Police say Border Patrol agents were performing roving patrol on Sunday near the town of Theresa when they stopped vehicle with someone inside suspected of smuggling. While the agents were investigating, state police and Border Patrol say the driver identified himself as a Canadian resident; however, he could not produce documents that identified his status in the United States.
State police say as the investigation continued, it was found that the driver was a citizen of the United States and the vehicle contained 13 large duffle bags containing around 278 pounds of vacuum-sealed marijuana.
“Border Patrol agents work tirelessly to prevent the influx of illegal narcotics into our communities,” Chief Patrol Agent Thomas Martin, of the Border Patrol’s Buffalo Sector, said in a news release. “This seizure was only possible through the vigilance of our agents and the great collaboration between agencies.”
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