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DPS officer arrests trucker after 700 lbs. of pot found

FORT WORTH -- A Florida truck driver was arrested Sunday in Parker County after authorities found 700 pounds of marijuana hidden among furniture destined for two U.S. servicemen returning from overseas.

The servicemen, whose furniture was being shipped home from South Korea, are not suspected of having a role in the smuggling, said Trooper David Smith of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

"They're probably wondering where their furniture is," he said.

Smith said he stopped the truck Sunday afternoon on Interstate 20 just west of Weatherford for a routine commercial inspection. The truck was carrying the furniture from Los Angeles to Fort Gibson, Ga.

The trucker's paperwork was suspicious because he had stopped in Tucson, Arizona for a long visit rather than hurrying on to Georgia, Smith said. The driver agreed to let Smith search his cargo. As soon as Smith opened the truck's door, he said he could smell the marijuana.

The drugs were packed in cardboard boxes, which contained about 50 to 70 pounds of marijuana each.

"It was all packaged to look like household items that were part of the furniture shipment," Smith said. "The boxes were right in the middle of load, and I couldn't find it until I got up on my ladder."

The company that was shipping the servicemen's furniture had apparently subcontracted the job to an independent trucker, he said.

The truck driver, Garth Anthony Miller Jr., 26, of Deerfield Beach, Fla., was arrested for suspicion of possession of marijuana. He was being held Monday in the Parker County Jail on $20,000 bail.