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SUV Crash in New Jersey Leads to Major Marijuana Seizure

During the accident investigation, troopers allegedly saw the passenger attempting to cover a damaged cardboard box with a blanket

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013  |  Updated 3:50 PM EDT
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SUV Crash in NJ Leads to Major Marijuana Seizure

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.

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