atrubia@ricentral.com

EXETER – Two New York residents were arrested over Memorial Day weekend for possession of and intent to deliver nearly 100 pounds of marijuana. 

The operator of the vehicle, identified as Junjie Li, age 28, of Brooklyn, NY, and a passenger, Zhong Ming Kuang, age 49, of Staten Island, NY, were each charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of more than five kilograms of marijuana.

Li also was charged with possession of a weapon other than firearm prohibited (nunchucks) and he was issued a citation for no seat belt use by the front-seat passenger.

The arrest, which occurred in Exeter, was announced on Saturday by Colonel James M. Manni, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, who said it was the result of a car stop on Interstate 95 for a seatbelt violation. 

“The two men were arrested at approximately 11:15 a.m. today after troopers stopped their car on Interstate 95 North near Weaver Hill Road in Exeter for an alleged seatbelt violation,”  the department said in a statement. “As a result of their investigation, they discovered 94 pounds of marijuana in one-pound vacuum-sealed bags in the trunk of the vehicle. They also seized $6,165 in cash and a set of nunchucks.”

Laura Meade Kirk, the department’s public information officer, said that while she couldn’t go into specifics when “it comes to these types of investigation,” she did confirm that it was the result of a routine stop. 

Kirk also said that she couldn’t qualify how common an arrest for such a large quanitiy of marijuana was. 

“It’s one of those things that we don’t want to qualify necessarily, because we might have three or four news releases in the course of a couple months and then have nothing for months,” she said. “We can’t say it happens once a week or once a month or anything like that.”

Both men were processed at the Hope Valley Barracks and ordered held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions pending formal arraignment in Third Division District Court on Tuesday.

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