Carrier fined $10 million for drug haul

An Oklahoma trucking operation was fined $10 million for transporting thousands of pounds of marijuana hidden behind legitimate cargo being carried for K-Mart and other companies, federal prosecutors said.

Coleman Commercial Carrier was fined the statutory maximum Monday for its role in a nationwide drug-smuggling ring that shipped the marijuana aboard tractor trailer trucks from November 1998 through September 2001, from Los Angeles to New York, Philadelphia and Jessup, Maryland, for resale.

The carrier and one of its supervisors, Carl Coleman, were convicted in September 2002.

Prosecutors showed that from at least 1997 through December 1998, Carl Coleman and others transported large shipments of marijuana to a Maryland drug dealer. Authorities seized about 3,000-lb. of marijuana at a Jessup warehouse that Coleman's operation leased.

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