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ATTLEBORO - A former North Attleboro man who was arrested after he allegedly picked up a parcel package filled with five pounds of high-grade marijuana was released on bail after pleading innocent Thursday

Joseph Santos Jr., 27, currently of Rochester, posted $3,000 cash bail after his arraignment in Attleboro District Court and is due back in court Feb. 26.

He was arrested Wednesday in the driveway of his parents' home on Paine Road by local detectives and state police detectives assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office.

North Attleboro Detective Lt. David Dawes said his parents had no knowledge of their son's alleged activity.

Rhode Island authorities learned about the contents of the package, which was mailed from California, after a Rhode Island State Police drug-sniffing dog reacted to the package at a UPS facility in Warwick, R.I., Dawes said. Rhode Island State Police obtained a search warrant for the package, then contacted Massachusetts authorities, who continued the investigation, Dawes said.

After the package was delivered, police set up a surveillance and arrested Santos around 3 p.m. in his parent's driveway.

State police telephoned Santos' cell phone shortly before he arrived to tell him his package had arrived. They again called his phone after he arrived to confirm he was the person who they contacted, according to police.

"He showed up, picked up the package and put it in his car," Dawes said.

The package contained five one-pound plastic packages of high-grade marijuana which Dawes estimated is worth $15,000.

His lawyer, Benjamin A. Mesiti of Central Falls, R.I., said he could not comment specifically about the case but said "my client's version of the facts and what was written in the police report is substantially different."

Santos faces charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and drug possession in a school zone, Dawes said.

Santos' parents' home is near the Allen Avenue School.

http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2008/11/21/news/3965080.txt
 
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