OMAHA, NE – Douglas County authorities arrested a man carrying drugs from California to New York Wednesday.
Chief Deputy Tom Wheeler said K-9 deputies stopped 27 year-old Somvilay Vilaysak for a traffic violation near 96th Street on Interstate 80 late Wednesday morning. A vehicle searched turned up about 80 pounds of marijuana in garbage bags and a duffle bag of Vilaysak’s 2009 Honda Civic.
“Deputies are looking for suspicious behavior, suspicious circumstances, inconsistencies in their stories and travel itineraries,” Wheeler said.
The drugs have a street value of more than $500,000, according to Chief Deputy Wheeler. He said the pot was grown hydroponically in California before it was packaged up for the drive. Interstate 80 is a major route through Nebraska for drug traders. Wheeler said state agencies regularly cooperate to catch the cross-country criminals.
“There's a lot of violence associated with Drugs. Violent crimes associated with the drug trade. And part of our goal is to impact that by taking those drugs off the street, Wheeler said.
Wednesday’s bust was the third in a month along I-80. It September authorities stopped a car carrying 41.5 pounds of cocaine worth $1.5 million dollars.
In early October they arrested another driver for following too closely. A vehicle search turned up 44 pounds of pot.
Douglas County has six K-9 officers designated to sniff out the drugs on I-80 and everywhere else with a goal to plug the pipeline for good.
“Between the State Patrol, Sheriff's Office, Police Department, we're out there together to take those drugs off the road and out of the hands of drug dealers,” Wheeler said.
Authorities said Vilaysak consented to a search of his car before his arrest Wednesday. He was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and for not having a tax stamp.