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updated: 10/17/2011 5:13 PM

Teen on Naperville train charged with carrying 45 pounds of pot

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A Florida teen carrying 45 pounds of marijuana was arrested after he stepped off an Amtrak train in Naperville, prosecutors said today.

Bail was set at $250,000 for 17-year-old Sergio Sanchez of Orlando, who is charged with possession of cannabis with intent to deliver.

Police arrested Sanchez about 4:15 p.m. Thursday after he arrived in Naperville on an Amtrak train from Reno, Nev.

Prosecutors said he let officers search a backpack and two "large, locked suitcases" containing 45 one-pound bricks of marijuana in vacuum-sealed bags. The estimated street value of the drugs was more than $205,000, authorities said.

"The defendant did admit knowing something illegal was in the suitcases but he didn't know what it was," Assistant State's Attorney Louisa Nuckolls said in DuPage County bond court.

Sanchez's arrest stemmed from a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigation. The agency became suspicious, Nuckolls said, after it reviewed a passenger manifest and learned Sanchez paid cash for a one-way ticket just before his train left Reno. When Sanchez arrived at his destination, Naperville officers were waiting with a drug-sniffing dog, Nuckolls said.

In court Friday, Sanchez told Judge Michael Wolfe he is a father and works at a fast-food restaurant. He asked for a reduced bail.

"Please, is there any way you guys could have a little sympathy for me?" he asked. "I'm not going to run."

Wolfe denied the request and also ordered Sanchez to prove any bond money he posts comes from legitimate sources rather than illegal activity.

If convicted, Sanchez could face between six and 30 years in prison, authorities said. His next court date is Nov. 7 in front of Judge Kathryn Creswell.

Amtrak officials could be reached immediately for comment.

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