ST. ANN, MO (KPLR) – Pounds upon pounds of high-grade marijuana are being shipped to the St. Louis area from states where the drug is legal.
Before marijuana was legalized in certain places, St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez says it didn’t used to be like this. He explains, “We might’ve had 5 to 10 maybe in a year, but since I’ve started the narcotics unit here, I can tell you within the last year, these guys probably get one or two a week.”
Jimenez says it’s a lucrative endeavor, buying marijuana legally, then marking it up 250%, and selling it illegally. The money is often laundered through bank accounts.
Two St. Louis County men have just been charged after receiving U.S. Postal Service packages in St. Ann, filled with marijuana. Christopher Stomer is charged with intending to sell a controlled substance, and Derek Rockette is charged with possession of a controlled substance.
However, U.S. Postal Inspector Dan Taylor says the problem extends well beyond St. Ann: “Just here in the St. Louis area, our postal inspectors have seized over 1,200 pounds of marijuana, from the mail, in the last year. We’ve become very good at identifying those packages.”
Once postal inspectors spot a suspicious package, they’ll get a search warrant to open it. Then, based on the amount of marijuana inside, they’ll either federally investigate the case, or hand it over to local law enforcement. Either way, the person receiving the pot-filled parcel will be confronted.
Taylor explains, “If you do it, sooner or later it’s going to catch up to you, and you’re going to have a postal inspector knocking on your door.”
Police say marijuana is most commonly sent from Colorado and California, but the packages nearly always have fake names and addresses.