Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Several dozen bundles of marijuana recovered from oil tanker

July 12, 2010 | 12:52 pm

A trail of sticky black grease led police to an oil tanker in East Los Angeles that was hiding a stash of marijuana bundles weighing in at up to 50 pounds each, authorities said Monday.

The incident began Sunday night when Los Angeles Police Department officers attempted to stop a speeding vehicle near the train tracks around Union Pacific Avenue. The three suspects sped off and got away, prompting officers to set up a perimeter, authorities said.

When the suspects were found, officers noticed an oily substance on their pants. The same gunk was on several bundles of marijuana found in their vehicle.

"So the officers start looking around, and they find an oil tanker," LAPD Det. Gus Villanueva said.

The grease coated the railroad car, which was parked near the tracks around Union Pacific Avenue and Eastman Avenue. As of noon Monday, the Los Angeles Fire Department had recovered 38 additional bundles of marijuana from the tanker.

Authorities say there is more marijuana, but they had to take a break from searching the tanker because a suspicious object was found and the bomb squad was called in.

Villanueva said it was unclear whether the suspects were stashing the drugs in the tanker after the pursuit or if they were recovering a cache stored there.

A dollar value on the marijuana was not available, but police said there were dozens of bundles.

-- Robert Faturechi

Photo: L.A. County and city firefighters confer at the Union Pacific rail yard in the City of Commerce after dozens of bundles of marijuana were found in a tanker. Credit: Christina House / For The Times

More photos