Report: Chicago Cousins Accused of Storing $2M Worth of Pot in Locker Caught Due to Late Rent

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Two Chicago cousins who a prosecutor says stored over $2.3 million worth of pot in a storage locker were found out for one simple reason.

Prosecutor Adam Sammarco said the men found themselves in trouble after their rent for the locker was not paid on time, CWB Chicago reported this week.

“Safeguard Self Storage, 1353 South Wabash, has a standing policy: If a customer doesn’t pay their rent for 30 days, an employee opens their storage locker and inventories the contents, prosecutor Adam Sammarco said Tuesday,” the outlet stated.

A worker called authorities over the weekend about suspicious items inside a locker whose rent was overdue since October 31. When law enforcement showed up at the scene, the worker opened it.

Officials reportedly found 320 pounds of marijuana, over 20,000 vape pen stems, suspected THC, and suspected vape pen oil. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives users a high, per WebMD.

The company then contacted the leaseholder, Henry Pena. When he and his cousin, Alberto Rivera, drove to the facility in a pickup truck to modify the lease, they were arrested.

The CWB Chicago report continued:

Sammarco said Pena admitted leasing the unit for Rivera over a year ago. In exchange, Rivera paid him money and gave him pot every month. Pena allegedly told police that he helped Rivera move sealed boxes of marijuana from the pickup to the storage unit, and, while he never looked inside the boxes, Pena said he knew it was pot because he could smell it.

He told police the storage unit had become “a stress” because of the late payment problem, and he was hoping to swap the lease into Rivera’s name, Sammarco continued.

Police also reportedly found a stash of marijuana worth $50,802.24 in the pair’s vehicle, along with boxes of suspected THC oil.

Judge Maryam Ahmad set Rivera’s bail at $2.5 million. The suspect must pay 10 percent of that — and prove the money did not come from selling pot — to be released from jail .

Pena’s bail was set at $20,000, and he must post $2,000 to be released.

Last month, a Chicago man met with his parole officer and allegedly brought pot and a drug scale with him, which baffled Judge Charles Beach.

“I guess you can’t necessarily make this up, right?” Beach said at the time.

As a crime wave sweeps across the nation, citizens in President Joe Biden’s (D) America are “more likely now than at any time over the past five decades to say there is more crime in their local area than there was a year ago,” Gallup reported in October.

“The 56% of U.S. adults who report an increase in crime where they live marks a five-percentage-point uptick since last year and is the highest by two points in Gallup’s trend dating back to 1972,” the article said.


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