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Postal inspectors intercept second package of marijuana

URBANA – An Urbana man who’s in jail on a cannabis trafficking charge is in more hot water with authorities after a second shipment of cannabis addressed to his home arrived in town this week.

Jerry D. Tatman, 53, of the 1900 block of Brownfield Road was charged Friday with an additional count of cannabis trafficking – a so-called Super X felony carrying 12 to 60 years in prison upon conviction.

Champaign County sheriff’s Sgt. Curt Apperson said the more recent charge stems from a package intercepted by postal inspectors on Tuesday.

Apperson said he and his drug detectives obtained a search warrant for the package, which was never delivered because Tatman is in jail, opened it, and found 18.5 pounds of cannabis.

Tatman was arrested Jan. 12 in connection with a package that was delivered to his home from a business called “Seeds of Life” in Harlingen, Texas. That package, also intercepted by postal inspectors, contained 17 pounds of cannabis, Apperson said.

Tatman was charged with cannabis trafficking for that. Court records in that case show Tatman has a Feb. 9 court hearing scheduled on a motion to reduce his $250,000 bond.

On Friday, Judge John Kennedy set his bond at $1 million on the new case and ordered him to be back in court March 9.

Apperson said the return address on the packages belongs to a factory in Harlingen and there is no such business as Seeds of Life that detectives can locate.

A pound of cannabis can retail on the street from $750 to $1,200 depending on its quality, Apperson said, while a single gram of cannabis costs about $7.50. There are about 453 grams in a pound.

By Mary Schenk

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