Two Carlton County women were arrested Friday in southwestern Minnesota while allegedly transporting 50 pounds of marijuana from Las Vegas to Duluth.
Asia Ann Gobel, 18, of Moose Lake, and Tanisha Rae Martineau, 20, of Cloquet, were taken into custody after the drugs were discovered during the course of a routine traffic stop in Cottonwood County, authorities said.
Court documents indicate that 25 pounds of raw marijuana was seized from the trunk of Gobel's vehicle, along with an additional 25 pounds of marijuana vape pen wax.
Both women were arraigned Monday in State District Court in Windom on multiple felony charges. They have since been released on bond.
According to the criminal complaints:
Windom police officer Jon Beck was traveling south on State Highway 60 when he observed a white Nissan Altima heading north with only its daytime running lights on, despite the fact that it was snowing.
Beck turned around and began following the car, which he reported to be traveling at an unsafe distance behind a truck before switching lanes without the use of a turn signal.
The officer stopped the Altima and could smell a strong odor of marijuana when he approached the car. The driver, later identified as Gobel, told him that she thought her full lights were on.
Gobel and her passenger, Martineau, denied having any marijuana. Gobel stated that they were returning from vacation in Las Vegas, where they were visiting her family.
Beck had the women get out and began searching the vehicle. In a purse left on the passenger seat, he found a small plastic bag containing 2.9 grams of a powder that later tested positive for cocaine.
In the trunk, Beck located "25 pounds of vacuum-sealed raw marijuana in multiple bags and approximately 25 pounds of marijuana vape pen wax." Gobel's purse was found to have $802 in cash, while Martineau had $835 in cash in her purse.
Both were placed under arrest and taken to the Cottonwood County Law Enforcement Center, where Martineau admitted knowledge of the marijuana. She claimed that the substances belonged to Gobel and had been given to her by "some guy in Vegas." The man, who she described as a "big smoker" was going to meet up with Gobel in Duluth, Martineau said.
A preliminary drug test showed that Gobel tested positive for cocaine. Results of a blood draw were still pending.
Both women are charged with with two counts of second-degree sale of marijuana and third-degree possession of marijuana. Gobel is additionally charged with fifth-degree possession of cocaine.
Martineau is due back in court on March 12, while Gobel is scheduled to appear again on April 5.