GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Maricopa County sheriff's detectives arrested a man after finding half a million dollars worth of marijuana inside a van he was driving on Monday.
Nunez Efrain, 31, was booked into Maricopa County Jail on multiple felony drug charges.
MCSO spokesman Deputy Joaquin Enriquez said detectives assigned to the Drug Suppression Task Force set up surveillance on the van after noticing it was weighted down with numerous plastic-wrapped bundles.
They followed the van to an address on West Maryland Avenue in Glendale where Efrain pulled into the garage and closed the door. They later saw Efrain leave the house in the van and conducted a traffic stop.
Detectives said they noticed a strong odor of marijuana and discovered 39 individual bundles of plastic-wrapped marijuana bales. Efrain claimed to be taking the vehicle for a test drive.
In addition to the 1,000 pounds of marijuana in the van, Enriquez said detectives found industrial rolls of plastic wrap and other evidence in the house to suggest it had been a center for the repackaging of marijuana.
"A half-million dollar seizure is a major haul," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "That's a large amount of drugs that will not be getting into the hands of teenagers and others around town."