Lancaster County sheriff's deputies arrested an Oregon marijuana processor Wednesday after finding 110 pounds of the drug, plus about $1.1 million in a cannabis extract called shatter, during a traffic stop, Sheriff Terry Wagner says.
Richard Wilkinson, 38, of Damascus, Oregon, was stopped near the downtown Lincoln interchange on eastbound Interstate 80 around 2 p.m., Wagner said.
Deputies believed Wilkinson's U-Haul van and another vehicle were following too closely, and when they approached the van, they smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle, Wagner said.
They searched the vehicle and found sealed packages of raw marijuana, vials of hash oil, 3,500 marijuana seeds and 25 pounds of shatter.
Shatter is a concentrated THC product that is broken off into small pieces from a peanut brittle-like sheet and smoked.
On the East Coast, shatter sells for $100 a gram, the sheriff said.
Wagner said he believes this seizure is one of the biggest shatter seizures his deputies have made.
Wilkinson's licensed marijuana processing company, Rich Extracts, advertises the shatter product on its website. His company is based in a Portland suburb.
He was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Deputies also arrested John E. Carlson, 50, of Cranston, Rhode Island, on suspicion of aiding and abetting the possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Carlson was stopped in a vehicle traveling in tandem with Wilkinson's van, and deputies found a personal amount of marijuana on him, Wagner said.
Deputies believe Wilkinson and Carlson were heading to a state where medical marijuana is legal, the sheriff said, but that makes no difference for his deputies.
"It's still illegal in Nebraska, and that's all we focus on," Wagner told reporters Thursday.
Prosecutors charged both men with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.