State police conducting homeland security checks at the Elizabeth port Monday arrested a man who left a crate containing 375 pounds of marijuana in a cargo van.

According to New Jersey State Police, Michael Herbert, 53, of Philadelphia was arrested after police observed him arrive at a shipping facility to pick up the crate.

Police say the crate was discovered at about 10 a.m. by troopers from the Trafficking North Unit, NJ State Police K-9 Unit, K-9 "Officer" Katie, and members of a DEA task force. Police say as detectives were at the terminal conducting intelligence checks for suspicious or criminal activity and homeland security breaches at a shipping facility in Elizabeth, they identified suspicious wooden crate in a Chevy cargo van.

As detectives were "conducting checks on the crate" to find out the contents, authorities say they watched Herbert retrieve the crate from the van. They followed him as he drove away from the facility and headed northbound on the NJ Turnpike then onto State Highway 3. According to state police, authorities then made a motor vehicle stop at which time K-9 Officer Katie checked the vehicle and detected the presence of drugs inside the container.

During the course of an investigation, troopers searched the vehicle and seized the wooden crate which, police say, contained 375 pounds of marijuana.

Herbert was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He was processed and transported to Union County Jail in ELizabeth, where he is being held on $350,000 bail with a 10 percent option.

Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.

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