State troopers in the Midwest are discovering a common thread among drug mules and alleged drug mules pulled over along Interstate 80: Orange County residency.
Check out our lineup after the jump . . .
A Nebraska jury on Wednesday found Cynthia F. Bruckner, 63, of Fountain Valley, guilty of possessing 66 pounds of marijuana that she intended to deliver. After failing to signal while driving on I-80 near the Lincoln airport exit, she was pulled over by Nebraska State troopers, who searched her SUV and found the pot in 1.1-pound packages in three padlocked, air-tight plastic totes. Bruckner and her son, Scot A. Christensen, 42, were arrested, and he faces trial in January. Bruckner maintained during her trial that she and her son were on their way to visit relatives in New York and that she knew nothing of the drugs along for the ride. But a damning conversation between mother and son was taped as they sat together inside a cruiser while troopers searched the SUV, according to prosecutors.
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A Nebraska State trooper struck up a conversation with Erik Monan, 25, of Ladera Ranch, at a gas station off I-80 in south Kearney, Neb. on Friday. A check of Monan's driver's license revealed he was driving despite having had the license suspended--and a subsequent search of his car turned up 50 pounds of marijuana and a pound of hashish, according to troopers. The drugs were seized and Monan was arrested and held in Buffalo County jail. Kearney is about 130 miles from the exit where Bruckner and Christensen were busted.
As the Weekly previously reported, Lucas Mendiola, 36, of Santa Ana, was arrested Sept. 16 along I-80 in Henry County, Illinois, after Illinois State troopers pulled over the SUV he was in and found 16.8 pounds of brown heroin. It was the second vehicle pulled over on that stretch of I-80 in less than a month that contained a large quantity of street drugs, according to authorities. Henry County is about 380 miles east of the Lincoln airport exit and 500 miles east of Kearney, Neb.