A family of eight in Alamogordo, New Mexico was recently stunned to find 13.5 pounds of marijuana stashed in the van that they had owned for the past 13 years.
The discovery came after Melodie Peil began having a hard time getting the door to lock, and asked a family friend, Brian Reyes, to replace the door handle. Reyes found the first brick of marijuana inside a passenger door after prying the panel open. Police suspect the marijuana was at least 15 years old, and given its age, was worthless and subsequently destroyed.
“When I first pulled out the brick, it was a two-pound brick,” said Reyes. “I put it on the chair and I looked and there was like six more bricks.”
The van, a 1990 Chevrolet had holes in the back doors, which police say means that it was likely searched for drugs prior to the family’s purchase. However, the passenger door was obviously not given a thorough examination.
The family had been driving the van since purchasing it at an Alamogordo used car lot in 2001, using it for such things as family vacations and trips to softball games. One of Peil’s daughters, Kayleigh Anderson, found it hard to believe that no one, during that period of 13 years, ever noticed what was inside.
“I’m surprised we never smelled anything,” said Anderson, who added that the family’s busy schedule led her mother to jokingly put a sign in a van window that read, “Mom’s Taxi.” “I think it’s just crazy to think that we’ve been driving around our whole life with this and didn’t even know.”
Border patrol agents that manned checkpoints also were never able to detect any indication of the drugs, even though the family said that they had been through the standard checks at least 10 times.
Due to the fact that police believe additional marijuana is hidden inside the van’s floor panels and gas tank, the family took it to be completely inspected and x-rayed by the border patrol.