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More than a half-ton of marijuana delivered to a Lawrenceburg business was seized Monday night at the business owner's home in Frankfort, according to Kentucky State Police.
Charged with trafficking marijuana is Randy Kendall Sr., 49, of 6505 Flat Creek Road, the owner of Kendell Quick Lube located near the intersection of Highway 151 and U.S. 127 Bypass. Kendall remained in custody Tuesday afternoon in Franklin County Regional Jail.
The marijuana weighed just over 1,200 pounds and has a street value of nearly $2 million.
The pot took a circuitous route before arriving in Lawrenceburg. The shipment originated in Mexico and arrived via ship at Port of Charleston, S.C., said Trooper Ron Turley, information officer for Kentucky State Police Post 12 in Frankfort.
Once in port, undercover officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took control of the shipment and drove it via truck to Lawrenceburg.
"It's what we call a controlled delivery," Turley said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon at the state police crime lab in Frankfort.
Kendall and another unidentified suspect accepted delivery of the shipment Friday at Kendall's business, Turley said.
"It sat there until Monday when the suspects moved it," Turley said. "We kept an eye on it the from the time it was delivered Friday. The suspects unloaded the pallets into a barn at 9:30 that night when we busted the load and made the arrest."
Charges are pending against the other suspect and more charges could be filed against Kendall, Turley said.
Turley said ICE was tipped in January that the shipment of pot was to be delivered to Lawrenceburg, and worked with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and other law enforcement agencies to intercept it at the port.
"This is over 1,200 pounds of marijuana that will not reach the streets of the commonwealth," he said.
The pot arrived in Lawrenceburg inside of bags of barium sulfate, a powdery substance used to make plastics. It was tightly wrapped with what appeared to be strapping tape and sealed inside the bags of the barium sulfate.
Tuesday, police had on display 320 bundles of pot inside in what appeared to a be vehicle service bay at the state police laboratory.
Turley said the pot was worth about $1,500 per pound.
"If it was grown in Kentucky, it would be worth $2,000 a pound," he said.
No arraignment had been set as of Tuesday afternoon for Kendall, according to officials at Franklin County Regional Jail.