Sheriff: Traveler on Hwy. 287 had luggage full of marijuana, edibles

Wise County deputies arrested a man who they say tried to bring almost 200 pounds of marijuana and edibles from Oregon into Texas.

Sheriff Lane Akin said Highway 287 has become known as a corridor for people trying to bring in pot from states where it’s legal. Deputies and canine officers with the Special Enforcement Division patrol the corridor to catch the stuff.

"In those states where it’s been legalized, the quickest way to get to the other side of the country and the southeast part of the country is coming down 287. So it is a corridor, it is a pathway that’s travelled by those who wish to illegally traffic marijuana,” Akin said.

That’s what happened Tuesday afternoon when deputies pulled over John Hardwick, 52, near Alvord for a traffic violation. A canine officer picked up on the scent of marijuana in his van.

Sheriff Akins said the deputies who searched Hardwick’s van found numerous bags of marijuana and THC in gummy form. They were hidden in several large duffel bags and suitcases.

Hardwick, who is from California, told the deputies he was traveling from Oregon to Austin. He’s now facing the possession of marijuana and the possession of a controlled substance.

The sheriff believes the street value of the seizure could be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Akins said his deputies have been making two to four marijuana busts on Hwy. 287 each month.