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Large marijuana stash seized from big rig in Arizona

(Pinal County Sheriff's Office Photo)

FLORENCE, Ariz. -- Pinal County authorities have seized more than 1,200 pounds of marijuana from a big rig that was hauling squash and arrested the driver from California.

Sheriff's officials said 59-year-old Norberto De La Vega, of Los Angeles, was being held Friday on several drug-related offenses. He doesn't have a lawyer yet.

Authorities said the marijuana has an estimated street value of nearly $925,000.

A deputy patrolling Interstate 10 pulled over a semi-truck for traffic violations Wednesday. As he approached the big rig, he said he smelled marijuana and De La Vega acted nervous when asked to see his load paperwork.

A drug-sniffing dog alerted authorities to the trailer, which had 32 large cardboard vegetable bins.

Sheriff's officials said 1,243 pounds of marijuana was in duct-taped packages hidden under the squash.

Earlier this week, customs officers stopped a truck and found marijuana hidden in bell peppers.

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