Two New York City women face numerous charges after New Jersey state troopers found 57 pounds of marijuana in a sport utility vehicle that crashed on an interstate highway.
State police say the crash occurred shortly before 1 p.m. Monday on Interstate 78 in Hunterdon County.
The driver, 48-year-old Paulette Murray of Brooklyn, was seriously injured in the crash and was flown to a hospital. Her front-seat passenger, 58-year-old Pauline Douglas-Dawkins of Queens, was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
During the accident investigation, troopers allegedly saw Douglas-Dawkins attempting to cover a damaged cardboard box with a blanket. Officials say the troopers soon found a large package of marijuana in the box, with fabric softener used to mask the smell of the drugs.
Douglas-Dawkins was arrested and the vehicle was towed to the state police's Perryville Station. Armed with a search warrant, troopers found additional packages of marijuana in the SUV.
Douglas-Dawkins was charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was jailed on $100,000 cash bail.
Murray remained hospitalized Tuesday, but further details on her condition were not disclosed. State police officials say she will be served with criminal complaints at a later date.
State police estimated the street value of the seized marijuana at $114,000.