More than 800 Pounds of Pot Seized in Bust near JFK

More than 800 Pounds of Pot Seized in Bust near JFK

PHOTO:  City, state, and federal officers last week recovered more than 800 pounds of pot from a U-Haul truck they pulled over at 182nd Street and Rockaway Boulevard.  Photo Courtesy of Google


A Texas man and a Florida man have been charged with illegally possessing more than 800 pounds of marijuana after members of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force stopped an out-of-state U-Haul vehicle in the vicinity of John F. Kennedy International Airport last Wednesday night when the driver failed to signal when changing lanes, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Michael Laico of Houston, Tx., and Dean Webb, 45, of Tampa, Fla., were arraigned last Wednesday night on two separate criminal complaints charging each man with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a Class C felony punishable by up to five and a half years in prison. Webb was also charged with a violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law for failing to signal.

Laico and Webb were each ordered held on $75,000 bond/$25,000 cash bail and to return to court on Nov. 25.

According to the charges, task force members were in the vicinity of 182nd Street and Rockaway Boulevard last Tuesday afternoon when they observed a U-Haul vehicle with Arizona license plates move from one lane of traffic to another without signaling. After stopping the vehicle, an officer approached its driver’s side window and spoke to Webb, the driver and sole occupant of the truck, who allegedly said that he was bringing “this” to an individual known as “Scott” and then followed up with the comment, “Let’s do this.”

After Webb executed a written consent to allow officers to open and examine the rear area of the truck, the officers observed five large cardboard-type crates sitting on wooden pallets and smelled an odor of marijuana emanating from within the vehicle and the crates. It is estimated that the crates held a total of more than 800 pounds of marijuana wrapped and packaged in numerous plastic bags.

While Webb was being detained, he allegedly received a phone call from “Scott,” to whom he allegedly stated, “I have the package. Where do you want me to bring it?” In response, “Scott” allegedly said, “Hey, are you ok? I saw those three people stop you,” to which Webb allegedly replied, “Yeah, I’m ok. My GPS is broken and I don’t know where to go.” In response, “Scott” allegedly said, “I see the U-Haul truck. I’ll be right there.”

Later, an individual wearing a hoodie walked up to a parking lot area in the vicinity of Rockaway Boulevard and Guy R. Brewer Boulevard where the U-Haul vehicle had been parked. When officers asked him if he was “Scott,” the man allegedly identified himself as “Scott.” It is further alleged that although Webb initially said he did not know “Scott,” when confronted with his personal clothing items found in “Scott’s” vehicle, Webb admitted that he knew “Scott” and that it was to “Scott” that he was bringing the recovered marijuana.

Finally, the man known as “Scott” had in his possession three separate driver’s licenses with the name “Michael Vincent Laico” and his likeness, but with three different addresses. Laico allegedly told officers, “This is what me and Dean do. We’ve done this before many times. When we get the order to pick up, we rent a storage locker, rent a truck and go to the place to pick up the stuff. Then we store the stuff in the storage for someone else to pick up and get paid.”

Brown said, “According to the charges, a minor traffic infraction is the cause for these two individuals to be facing serious drug charges and lengthy incarceration. The message couldn’t be clearer: drug dealers should steer clear of Queens County.”





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