Illinois State Police seized 432 pounds of illicit cannabis from two traffic stops on Interstate 70 in our area last week.
On Tuesday, March 6, an Illinois State Police Trooper initiated a traffic stop on I-70 just west of Effingham at approximately 8:11 a.m.. The pulled over vehicle was a red Toyota passenger car. During the stop, the ISP trooper discovered approximately 71 pounds of cannabis within the vehicle.
The driver, Matthew Taffer, 23, of Leesburg, Virginia was arrested and charged with Cannabis Trafficking. Mr. Taffer was incarcerated at the Effingham County Jail. The investigation was aided by the Effingham County State’s Attorney and the Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force.
Less than 36 hours later, an ISP trooper found another sizable quantity of marijuana during a traffic stop.
On Wednesday, March 7 at approximately 1:44 p.m. an ISP trooper initiated a traffic stop of an RV for a traffic violation on I-70 near St. Elmo. During the stop, the trooper discovered 361 pounds of cannabis inside of the RV.
The driver, Christian Peralta Martinez, 34, of Miranda, California was arrested along with a passenger, Shawn Hulsey, 33, of Leggett, California. Both were charged with Cannabis Trafficking and were incarcerated in the Fayette County Jail. The investigation was aided by the Fayette County State’s Attorney and the Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force.
Between the two drug seizes, Illinois State Police confiscated 432 pounds of marijuana. The street value of the drugs is estimated to be approximately $1,080,000.
“The Illinois State Police remain focused on battling the unlawful trafficking of illicit substances and criminal activity in and around our communities,” said ISP District 12 Commander, Captain Cory Ristvedt.