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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  An alert Minnesota State Patrol trooper made a big drug bust in rural Olmsted County last Saturday.

The trooper stopped a rental vehicle that had South Dakota plates as it was driving on eastbound I-90 for a minor traffic violation.

After noticing several possible signs of trafficking, the trooper ordered the driver out and began checking the vehicle with a dog trained to detect drugs. According to the trooper’s report, “ The dog alerted to the vehicle almost immediately.”

The trooper checked the trunk and found a duffle bag that contained what appeared to be 17 one-pound bags of marijuana. Also in the bag were 7 packages of THC concentrate weighing a total of 32 pounds.

According to the criminal complaint:

 “When asked about what was found, Defendant stated it was “hemp” but was unable to provide any documentation to prove that. “

A hemp field test came back negative and showed a higher level of THC. The total weight of the marijuana/THC mixture was 49 pounds.

The trooper noted:

 “This amount is much larger than a personal use amount and was very likely possessed with the intent to distribute.”

Arrested was 31-year-old Jacob Vanvleet of Angola, Indiana.

Vanvleet may have been traveling with another man. The trooper says another rental vehicle with Washington plates was driving close to Vanvleet.

The trooper noted:

“Each vehicle was occupied by a single male driver. This is a common tactic of drug traffickers to have a decoy car bearing source state plates to distract from the second vehicle with regional plates.

The trooper also noted:

“ While conducting the stop, the driver of the Washington plated vehicle passed and looked over as if he was traveling with the driver of the South Dakota plated vehicle. “

News update:  The first anniversary of the "early days" of Olmsted County's COVID-19 experience.

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