State Trooper Kolton Kendall said the incident began when a district attorney narcotics investigator spotted a GMC Yukon SUV traveling east on U.S. Highway 59.
He got on his radio and called Kendall, who was driving just behind him, and Trooper José Prado of George West right behind him.
Kendall said the vehicle driver apparently spotted the troopers and turned south on the U.S. Highway 181 Bypass access road.
The trooper managed to stop the Yukon, but about 10 suspected illegals bailed out of the vehicle and ran.
Kendall said he and Prado caught two of the suspects, and as they were walking them to their patrol cars, the investigator looked into the Yukon and found 11 bundles of marijuana.
The trooper said the dope weighed in at 611 pounds. “I heard them say it was worth about $488,000,” Kendall said.
Although the troopers got the credit for the find, Kendall said the investigator’s sharp eye was what led to the incident.
However, Kendall said the stop and confiscation of the drug was a team effort that involved the Bee County Sheriff’s Office and Beeville Police Department.
Officers did not believe the two suspects apprehended had anything to do with smuggling in the marijuana, and they were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol to be deported back to Mexico. They were not charged.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.