NSP confiscates 68 pounds of gift-wrapped marijuana during tailgating stop

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (WOWT) -- A bunch of gift-wrapped packages said to be presents for a baby led to the arrest of 56-year-old California man after the Nebraska State Patrol said they found nearly 70 pounds of marijuana in the boxes.

Nebraska State Patrol troopers seized more than 60 pounds of marijuana during a stop near Grand Island on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Nebraska State Patrol)

The stop was initiated by a trooper who observed a Toyota 4-Runner following another vehicle too closely Interstate 80 near mile marker 296 — near Wood River, Neb. — at around 3 p.m. Thursday, the NSP report states. The trooper found a meth pipe and a gram of methamphetamine on the driver, the report states.

After a search revealed 68 pounds of marijuana hidden inside the large boxes in the vehicle, Joseph Hullinger of Santa Rosa, Calif., was arrested for possession of more than a pound of marijuana; possession of a controlled substance; possession with intent to deliver; possession of drug paraphernalia; and no drug tax stamp, according to the report.

Hullinger, who told the trooper the boxes were gifts for a new baby, was taken to Hall County Jail, the report states.