No Convictions in Big ND Marijuana BustDICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota jury acquitted one of two Lithuanian men accused of trying to transport nearly 50 pounds of marijuana from Washington state to Chicago two years ago, and the other man voluntarily left the country.
By: Associated Press,
DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota jury acquitted one of two Lithuanian men accused of trying to transport nearly 50 pounds of marijuana from Washington state to Chicago two years ago, and the other man voluntarily left the country.
The jury deliberated for less than an hour Thursday before finding Arturas Teras not guilty of possession with the intent to deliver the drugs, The Dickinson Press reported (http://bit.ly/Al6WJx ).
Donatas Jasiulionis, who was also arrested during the November 2009 traffic stop, returned to his European homeland and will face immediate arrest if he ever returns to the U.S., said his attorney, Kelly Armstrong.
Stark County State's Attorney Tom Henning said it's unlikely authorities will try to extradite Jasiulionis.
"Given the fact that it's not a murder, we've only got so much to work with and this is not something I would expend those types of funds on," Henning said.
The two were arrested in November 2009. Authorities alleged they were en route from Washington state to Chicago with the drugs in the back of a van when they were stopped for speeding in southwest North Dakota.
Teras had a medical marijuana license, but the amount of the drug found in the vehicle exceeded what would be used for personal consumption, Henning told jurors. Highway Patrol officer Travis Holding Eagle testified that Teras seemed agitated and nervous during the traffic stop.
"You can't ignore the elephant in the room," Henning told jurors.
Teras' attorney, Mary Nordsven, said Jasiulionis's fingerprints were found on the bags of marijuana, but Teras' weren't, and she told jurors there wasn't enough evidence to prove Teras knew the drugs were in the vehicle he was driving.
"We do know that this is not my client's vehicle," she said. "There is no real concrete evidence that ties my client to what was in the hatch of that vehicle."
Information from: The Dickinson Press, http://www.thedickinsonpress.com