A Lane County man stashed $1 million worth of marijuana in fake boulders and attempted to ship it from Springfield to Oklahoma City.
Curran Millian Manzer, 37, is accused of possession with intent to distribute more than 100 pounds of marijuana, according to a federal complaint signed and filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Eugene.
A Springfield police officer began investigating Manzer in the fall, after the United Parcel Service discovered Manzer attempting to send multiple packages out of state that reeked of marijuana, wrote Sean Cummings, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent, in a probable cause statement.
UPS, on its own and not at police direction, inspected packages in October that were addressed to Manzer and discovered mounds of cash sealed in plastic that amounted to between $40,000 and $50,000, Cummings wrote. The packages were resealed and sent on to the Springfield man’s address.
On Nov. 10, Springfield Officer Eric Sorby spotted Manzer drop off six packages at the UPS store. Manzer paid for the packages to be sent the next day to Oklahoma then drove off in his company pickup truck that read “Curran’s Taxidermy,” the statement said.
The officer obtained a search warrant and opened the packages after a police dog reacted to the scent of drugs in them.
Police found large fake boulders made of a fiberglass texture inside the packages. Inside the boulders were vacuum-sealed plastic bags holding 143 pounds of marijuana, according to Cummings.
Springfield police spokesman Lt. Scott McKee heralded the discovery in a news release in November that started, “Leaving no stone unturned, police discover elaborate interstate marijuana transportation operation.”
Investigators also served a search warrant at a Walterville-area location, where they found multiple marijuana grow sites and shipping records.
Recreational and medical marijuana use is legal in Oregon, but the drug remains illegal under federal law, and shipping it across state lines is prohibited under both federal and state law. Manzer initially faced state charges but now faces federal prosecution.