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Marijuana bust

Nebraska State Patrol troopers found nearly 70 pounds of marijuana hidden in gift-wrapped boxes Thursday near Grand Island.

GRAND ISLAND | Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested a California man and seized nearly 70 pounds of marijuana, found hidden inside gift-wrapped boxes, during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Wood River.

At approximately 3 p.m. Thursday, a trooper observed an eastbound Toyota 4Runner following another vehicle too closely near mile marker 296. During the traffic stop, the trooper discovered a meth pipe and a gram of methamphetamine on the driver’s person.

Troopers then searched the vehicle and found 68 pounds of marijuana hidden inside several large, gift-wrapped boxes. The driver stated the boxes were gifts for a new baby.

The driver, Joseph Hullinger, 56, of Santa Rosa, Calif., was arrested for possession of marijuana – more than one pound, possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, and no drug tax stamp. Hullinger was lodged in Hall County Jail.

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