A man is behind bars and a woman faces felony charges after a traffic stop outside Talent yielded more than 150 pounds of marijuana believed to have been headed to Minnesota.
Tong Xiong, 27, of Robbinsdale, Minnesota, and Spy Lee Vang, 40, of Stone Lake, Iowa, each face felony charges of exporting marijuana, delivering marijuana and unlawfully possessing marijuana after Oregon State Police found 172.2 pounds of marijuana in the back of their rented SUV during a traffic stop on Interstate 5 Thursday evening. Also seized from the vehicle was half an ounce of crystal methamphetamine.
On the evening of Nov. 9, Xiong was pulled over for speeding in a red 2017 Mitsubishi SUV with Washington plates on northbound Interstate 5 near milepost 18, according to documents filed by OSP in the case. Vang was in the passenger seat. He had been traveling at approximately 72 miles per hour in a 65 zone, and the vehicle had been rented in Medford.
When the officer approached the SUV, it smelled strongly of marijuana, police say. In the back of the SUV were black plastic trash bags covered by luggage.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Xiong remained lodged in the Jackson County Jail on $100,000 bail. At an initial hearing Monday, Circuit Court Judge Tim Barnack ordered no early release unless he posts bail. Vang was released Monday on her own recognizance, court documents show.
Jackson County Jail records show Xiong as a Thailand resident and Vang as a Laos resident. Xiong's next court appearance is a preliminary hearing set for Nov. 20. Vang has a court appearance set for Dec. 11.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.