URBANA — An Arkansas man who admitted he had cannabis intended for sale in Champaign County earlier this year has been sentenced to three years of probation.
Raul Garza, 40, of West Hope, Ark., was also ordered to pay more than $39,000 in fines, $37,500 of which was the street value of his cache.
Garza pleaded guilty to unlawful possession with intent to deliver cannabis, admitting that on May 1, he had between 2,000 and 5,000 grams of the substance in two duffel bags that an Illinois state trooper found on a bus after getting a tip that Garza was meeting a man with it at a gas station on Olympian Drive just north of Champaign.
Assistant State's Attorney Stephanie Weber said a canine working with the trooper alerted to the presence of cannabis in the bags.
At the time of his arrest, police said Garza had about 164 pounds of cannabis in the bags.
Speaking through a Spanish translator, Garza pleaded guilty before Judge Tom Difanis.
Weber said Garza had prior convictions for possession with intent to deliver cannabis, driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance.