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K9 sniffs out 72 bags of marijuana

Deputies: Marijuana worth at least $225,000

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A drug detecting K-9 named Rocky sniffed out more than $225,000 worth of marijuana inside a pickup truck in Marion County on Tuesday.

Drug agents stopped a blue Ford F-350 pickup truck on NW 10th Street around 4 p.m. It's unknown why they chose to stop that vehicle.

The truck bed was carrying large pieces of used furniture and multiple cardboard boxes.

While other drug agents were talking with the driver, Agent Bowen and K-9 Rocky conducted a drug sniff of the truck.

Rocky quickly alerted the agents to four large cardboard boxes packed with marijuana, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.

The driver, Lee Alan Minchew, and his pickup truck were taken to the Ocala Police Department.

Investigators said it took six drug agents nearly two hours to break down and process all the marijuana so it could be properly documented and entered into OPD's evidence section.

The boxes contained 72 vacuum-sealed bags of high-grade marijuana.

Each bag had multiple layers of thick plastic wrapped around it and contained approximately one pound of marijuana.

The street value of marijuana of this quality generally ranges from $3,000-$5,000 per pound.

The 75 pounds of marijuana seized during this traffic stop has a minimum street value of $225,000.

Minchew was arrested and booked into the Marion County Jail for trafficking marijuana (more than 25 pounds). He posted a $25,000 bond and was released from jail on Wednesday.