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Local

Police make 600-pound marijuana bust

California dad, son arrested by state troopers

PRINCETON — A father-son duo from California claiming to be road testing an RV had more than luggage on board.

The two were caught with 600 pounds of marijuana during a Bureau County traffic stop.

Rory French, 59, and Colt French, 34, of Smith River, Calif., told state police who pulled them over at 8:02 a.m. Tuesday on Interstate 80 at the Princeton exit that they were taking the RV on an overnight trip to Chicago to test it out, but when questioned by troopers admitted they had marijuana in the vehicle.

An inspection uncovered 10 duffel bags full of the stuff, which they claimed to have picked up in Oregon state.

During a bond hearing, State's Attorney Geno Caffarini said the two also disclosed to an Illinois State Trooper that they had made a similar run earlier in December.

The two were charged with Class X felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, which carries a base sentencing range of 6-30 years if convicted.

The elder French, represented by Public Defender Michael Henneberry, and the younger by Assistant Public Defender Eric May, are being held in Bureau County Jail on $300,000 bond each, 10 percent of which must be applied for their release.

Judge C.J. Hollerich declined the $500,000 bail requested by Caffarini, but upped the $250,000 the defense asked for, citing a possible flight risk since the defendants have no ties to the area and the charges carry a mandatory prison sentence if convicted.

They'll next appear in court Jan. 13.

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