Driver pleads not guilty to marijuana shipment

A Preston man pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that state he was carrying more than a dozen pounds of marijuana when he was arrested in Austin more than a week ago.

Cody Otto Schultz, 21, pleaded not guilty in Mower County Court to felony third-degree drug sale of more than 5 kilograms of marijuana.

A Minnesota State Trooper, coordinating with an investigation, arrested Schultz in Austin after a traffic stop on Nov. 12. Schultz allegedly had 13 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of his car.

According to the Mower County Court complaint, the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force notified a Mower County investigator that Schultz was traveling on Interstate 90 and could have a large amount of marijuana. The state trooper waited for Schultz to pass and clocked him going over the speed limit.

The complaint added the trooper could see marijuana on Schultz’s shirt and smell it in the vehicle. The trooper allegedly found a backpack with a small amount of marijuana and a marijuana grinder. He then found three separate packages of marijuana in the trunk totaling 5.9 kilograms, the complaint added.

Schultz told an investigator he had taken trips to Colorado during the past few years to purchase the marijuana and sell it to a “small circle of friends,” the complaint stated. Schultz’s pretrial is scheduled for March 28.

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