PARAMUS, N.J. -- Investigators with the Passaic County sheriff's office and State Police seized nearly 250 pounds of marijuana and 88 vials of liquid THC concealed in a trio of vintage vending machines after following two suspects through several Bergen County towns and stopping them in Paramus.
Tipped off to a large shipment of pot being delivered to a Clifton storage facility, members of the strike force began following a box truck and 2016 Mercedes SUV on Thursday, Passaic County Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik said Saturday.
While on Route 17, the SUV "accelerated and began to weave in and out of traffic," so detectives made the stop, the sheriff said.
The driver, Vimal Lingisetty, 30, of Nanuet, "appeared to be manipulating an object under his shirt," Berdnik said.
"Detectives ordered Lingisetty several times to show them his hands, with negative results," the sheriff said. "Detectives forcibly removed Lingisetty from the vehicle, at which time a cell phone, which he was trying to destroy, fell to the ground.
"Lingisetty continued to forcibly resist arrest even while being handcuffed," Berdnik said. "Eventually, with the assistance of other detectives, Lingisetty was secured in handcuffs and placed under arrest."
Also arrested was the driver of the box truck, Pedram Bousheri, 34 of Wellington, FL, he said.
Detectives obtained search warrants for both vehicles, which were impounded at the sheriff's headquarters in Wayne.
Inside the truck were three wooden crate containers with the drug-holding vending machines, Berdnik said.
He estimated the marijuana's value at a quarter of a million dollars.
State Police charged Lingisetty with eluding and resisting arrest in Paramus. He was also charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and ordered held on a combined $350,000 bail.
A judge ordered Bousheri held o $250,000 bail, charged with possession of marijuana for distribution.