WBR traffic stop nets $1.4 million in synthetic marijuana

An interstate highway drug enforcement unit confiscated $1.4 million in synthetic marijuana Thursday night after a traffic stop on Interstate 10 in West Baton Rouge Parish, authorities said Friday.

West Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputies booked Kalid J. Jaber, 35, of Chalmette, with traffic violations and a count of possession of synthetic cannabis with intent to distribute in excess of 60 pounds, Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said.

Iberville Parish sheriff’s deputies working jointly with the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office pulled Jaber over at 8:40 p.m. 2 miles west of the I-10/Lobdell exit.

Deputies said Jaber was speeding and driving carelessly on I-10 westbound.

After speaking with Jaber and looking in the window of the minivan, deputies found 325.5 pounds of synthetic marijuana inside.

“They just had it jam-packed, everything they could up in there,” Stassi said.

Deputies said they had found Jaber’s story about his journey inconsistent and sensed deception.

Stassi said investigators later learned Jaber had left the New Orleans area with synthetic marijuana earmarked for distribution between Iberville Parish and the Lafayette area.

He said the drugs were wrapped in a way to be attractive to young people.

Stassi noted that a change in state law that took effect Thursday now makes all known mixtures of synthetic marijuana illegal. He said deputies still must test the makeup of newly confiscated drugs.

Eighteenth Judicial District Judge Alvin Batiste set $1 million in bail for Jaber, who remained in jail Friday.