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Man Convicted for Possessing Marijuana Worth $1.5 Million

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Dec. 8, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the conviction of Stelios Maltepes, 36, of Philadelphia, on charges of conspiracy and possession of about 1,200 pounds of marijuana for sale.

The conviction follows an investigation by the Phoenix Police Department that uncovered a drug trafficking operation that used two Phoenix area warehouses.

Maltepes was arrested in 2005 after investigators executed a search warrant on a warehouse at 2517 W. McDowell Road. They found more than 1,200 pounds of marijuana, with a street value estimated at $1.5 million, hidden inside pallets of water ready to be shipped from Phoenix to Philadelphia.

Maltepes was taken into custody after the jury found him guilty Dec. 7 on all charges. He is scheduled for sentencing before Judge Robert Gottsfield on Jan. 17, 2007 and faces up to 12.5 years in prison. Assistant Attorney General James Simpson is prosecuting this case.