A Florida teenager was arrested and charged after police claim he was caught with 45 pounds of marijuana as he exited an Amtrak train in Naperville, Illinois.
Sergio Sanchez, 17, was taken into custody Thursday after a drug-sniffing dog began barking at him as he left a train in the 100 block of 4th Avenue in the western suburb. When police searched two suitcases and a backpack he was carrying with him, they found 45 pounds of "high-grade" marijuana in vacuum-sealed bags, the Naperville Sun reports.
Will Taylor, public information officer for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Chicago base, estimated the drugs to have a street value somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000 per pound and $135,000 and $225,000 for the entire load. Taylor said they had been looking into Sanchez since he bought an Amtrak ticket on the west coast.
Sanchez has been charged with manifestation and delivery of cannabis, a felony charge that, if convicted, carries a mandatory sentence of six to 30 years in prison, according to ABC Chicago.
In bond court Friday, the Daily Herald reports Sanchez said he is a father and is employed at a fast-food restaurant. Assistant State's Attorney Louisa Nuckolls said the young man "did admit knowing something illegal was in the suitcases but he didn’t know what it was."
"Please, is there any way you guys could have a little sympathy for me?” Sanchez asked the judge, according to the Daily Herald. "I'm not going to run."
Judge Michael Wolfe denied his request for a reduced bail. As of Saturday, he remained at DuPage County jail on $250,000 bail. His next court date is Nov. 7.