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Interstate marijuana smuggling ring is broken after seizure, police say Drug allegedly was sent from Calif. to Sykesville

State police in Westminster worked with California and Baltimore authorities to break up a major smuggling operation and intercept 50 pounds of suspected marijuana, police said yesterday.

The marijuana has a street value of more than $60,000 and was being shipped from California to a Sykesville residence for sale in Baltimore, said Detective Sgt. Bruce Smith of the state police barracks in Westminster.

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The interstate investigation has been under way for about six months and will continue, Smith said.

Police said the investigation began in January when the California Highway Patrol made a traffic stop and seized about 150 pounds of marijuana -- allegedly destined for Carroll County.

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On May 29, he said, police received information that a large quantity of the drug was being delivered through a shipping company to a home in the 900 block of W. Liberty Road in Sykesville.

A 50-pound shipment was intercepted the same day, and a search warrant for the home turned up a small amount of suspected marijuana and records, police said.

Police have since been seeking Monica French, 55, of the West Liberty Road address with an arrest warrant on charges of marijuana possession with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana.

Wilbur H. Freeland Sr., 52, of the 900 block of W. Liberty Road and Larry V. Troxler, 44, of the 3700 block of Old Frederick Road in West Baltimore were arrested and have been charged in California with narcotics violations.

Troxler is incarcerated in California, Smith said, and Freeland is in custody in Maryland awaiting extradition to California.

Pub Date: 7/01/97



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