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Three arrested with nearly 100 pounds of pot headed for Columbia

Deputies found two trash bags with more than 100 “bricks” of marijuana inside a car pulled over Wednesday night.

Fones German, Irwin Grado-Correna and Jesus Duran-Gamez are all suspected of second-degree drug trafficking when Lafayette County deputies and Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers stopped two cars on Interstate 70 Wednesday night.

Their probable cause statements say deputies and troopers set up a “ruse drug check” at the Route T intersection of Interstate 70, near the Saline County line at mile marker 52. Signs posted on the interstate warned drivers of an impending drug checkpoint, with K9 units in use. Deputy sheriff Martin Dye’s statement said he watched two cars heading eastbound take the Route T exit, and turn back onto I-70 heading towards Kansas City. The statement said Dye began following one of them, a gray Suzuki SUV, and attempted to pull it over for following a tractor trailer “at approximately 1 1/2 car lengths.” Following other cars too closely is a class C misdemeanor in Missouri, and the driver, Duran-Gamez, sped off when Dye tried pulling him over. The statement for Duran-Gamez said speeds reached 100 miles per hour, as the 28-year-old Kansas City man began weaving through traffic.

When Duran-Gamez eventually stopped at mile marker 32, he got out of the car and laid down “on the right lane of the Interstate in a prone position,” according to the statement. Dye took Duran-Gamez into custody, and had the vehicle towed to conduct an inventory.

Meanwhile, Sergeant Greg Primm of the Highway Patrol pulled over the black Ford Escape that turned around with Duran-Gamez, also for following too closely. Grado-Carreno, 19, of Kansas City and German, 24, from the country of Mexico, had six cellphones with them, according to Primm. The statement said Dye wasn’t sure if Duran-Gamez knew the others in the Escape, because Duran-Gamez did not speak English.

While at Wilkinson Tow for the inventory, Dye said he found two large trash bags filled with 101 “bricks” of marijuana, of roughly the same size. One brick weighed approximately one pound, according to the statement.

Grado-Carreno told Dye that German was a friend, and that German asked him to go to Columbia with him and Duran-Gamez. He told the deputy sheriff that he did not know drugs were involved in the trip, until Duran-Gamez called German about turning around when he saw the signs for the drug check.

All three men have $50,000 cash-only bonds, and are held at the Lafayette County Jail in Lexington.

Judge Kelly Rose moved their arraignments to August 12, in order for Duran-Gamez and German to have a translator.

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