This Sept. 15, 2015 file photo shows marijuana plants with their buds covered in white crystals at a medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill.

Men arrested in SUV full of illegal weed say they were hired in California to work in Colorado

The regional drug task force arrested four men found with about 120 pounds of marijuana last week in Rifle. A couple of the men said they were working at a grow site somewhere in the mountains.

A Rifle police officer on patrol Wednesday spotted an SUV without working brake lights that evening. “As soon as [the officer] stepped out of his patrol car he could smell the overwhelming, nauseating smell of marijuana,” according to an arrest report.

He found the SUV’s cargo area was full of large trash bags.

Rifle police informed Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team about the stop, reporting that they “could see marijuana on the parties in the vehicle and buds of marijuana on the floor of the vehicle.”

Four men in the SUV were arrested. Upon searching the vehicle, officers found seven large bags full of marijuana.

The driver and one passenger refused to talk to investigators. But the other two told investigators that they had been working at a grow somewhere in the nearby mountains. They said they were hired in California, but they did not know for whom they were working.

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