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Marijuana confiscated during a traffic stop on I-90 Thursday

Two Minnesota residents are facing felony drug charges in Pennington County after a sheriff's deputy found about 85 pounds of marijuana in their pickup during a traffic stop along Interstate 90 on Thursday.

Two Minnesota residents were arrested along Interstate 90 on Thursday with a large quantity of marijuana, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

Songying Lao, 50, of Minneapolis, and Yia Yang, 41, of St. Paul, are charged with possessing more than 10 pounds of marijuana and intent to distribute a pound or more of marijuana. They are detained at the Pennington County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash or surety bond, according to records of their initial court appearance Friday.

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Lao and Yang were heading west on I-90, near Box Elder, when a sheriff’s deputy stopped their Toyota Tundra for speeding around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. The deputy smelled marijuana inside the pickup, searched the vehicle and found roughly 85 pounds of the drug, the sheriff’s office said.

The Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team, which is made up local, state and federal law enforcement officers, continues to investigate the incident. The pair is scheduled to return to court April 20.

Contact Tiffany Tan at

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Rapid City Journal