A Broward County man was arrested after authorities found an estimated 667.85 pounds of marijuana on a stolen boat, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.
Officials said Jaime Sotomayor Vega, 35, of Hollywood, was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
According to the criminal complaint, on Feb.7, while on patrol of the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach County, a Palm Beach law enforcement officer observed and approached a vessel operated by Vega.
Vega said he was fishing, but had engine trouble and was just waiting for his friends to arrive with the trailer, authorities said. The officer said he became suspicious and called the Department of Homeland Security Investigations for assistance. While further investigating, it was determined that the vessel was stolen, authorities said.
A dog from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit helped officers find marijuana on board. Further investigation revealed several packages in various shapes, sizes, and colored wrappings were marijuana, authorities said.
In total, about 96 packages of marijuana, weighing about 667.85 pounds, were found, authorities said.
If convicted, Vega faces a mandatory maximum term of incarceration of 5 years and a maximum term of incarceration of up to 40 years imprisonment.