LAWRENCE — A city man who allegedly had a 30-pound block of marijuana shipped to a Margin Street house was arrested yesterday after he accepted the package from a police detective posing as a delivery man.
Lawrence police were tipped off to the drug delivery by an Ohio detective who was stationed at a Columbus shipping center to look for suspicious boxes. He suspected the box contained marijuana.
Officers were able to track down the box and intercept it minutes before it got to the house, and set up surveillance at 137 Margin St.
Police say Jose Urena had been waiting on the porch for close to two hours when a detective showed up at 1 p.m. with the marijuana shipment, which came from Texas. When the detective asked Urena what he'd like done with the package, he answered, "Leave it here (the porch). I'll take care of it."
The detective set the package down and walked away, and surveillance officers moved in and made the arrest.
Police are charging Urena, 31, of 306 Lawrence St., with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He also had two warrants out for his arrest.
The marijuana was wrapped in an inch of green cellophane wrap covered in mustard, soap, transmission fluid and other substances to mask the drug's smell. The box was lined with a thick Styrofoam.
"The street value is quite a bit of money, up to $40,000," Lawrence police Chief John Romero said of the marijuana. "Someone would have made a lot of money on that. ... It was a condensed package, just like a rock."
Lawrence police received the tip at 7 a.m. yesterday. By the time detectives tracked down the package, it was already out on a truck, scheduled to be delivered before noon. They contacted the driver and met him at the police station.
They called in state police Trooper Gary Mozuch and his drug-sniffing dog, Jacco. The dog was sent into the truck and hit on the package, biting into the side. That's when officers opened it and saw the marijuana.
The package was addressed to a Francisco Perez, of 137 Margin St., but when asked by the undercover detective if he was Perez, Urena answered, "Yes."
Romero would not name the shipping company that was used to deliver Urena's package.