UPDATE: Suspects charged after nearly 290 pounds of marijuana fo - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UPDATE: Suspects charged after nearly 290 pounds of marijuana found in vehicles

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WHITEHALL, Wis. (WQOW) - -

Two suspects, arrested after nearly 290 pounds of pot was found in their vehicles last week, have been formally charged.

Joel Helding and Valerie Flores each face four felony charges in Trempealeau County following the incident on Thursday.

According to the criminal complaint, which can be read below, state troopers pulled over the pair near Osseo. Each was driving a vehicle. Officials said they took off in different directions, trying to outrun police. 

Police said Helding drove down a dead end road. He then ran roughly 200 feet into a wooded area before he was apprehended by police.

State troopers said in their report that a pit maneuver was used on Flores' vehicle. It caused her vehicle to crash into a ditch. 

According to the criminal complaint, weapons were found in both vehicles. Also in those vehicles, troopers found 286 pounds of marijuana. The estimated street value is more than $1.8 million. 

Flores and Helding will make their initial appearance before a Trempealeau Co. judge on February 6. If convicted of all charges, Flores faces more than 30 years in prison. Helding faces more than 38 years in prison.

Both are jailed on $25,000 cash bonds.


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