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Cops chase driver, discover pot

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A Jamaica man who has had brushes with the law involving illegal drugs was arrested again Sunday after officers found 500 of pounds of marijuana in the back of his minivan after he ran a red light, police said.

Clement Hunter, 30, of Liverpool Street, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court later that night on several charges, including 50 counts of criminal possession of marijuana, the Queens district attorney’s office said. Following a brief chase through the streets of south Jamaica, police discovered 10 plastic bags in the back of his vehicle that contained a total of 513 pounds of the contraband drug, according to the DA’s office.

The incident started at the corner of Farmers and Merrick boulevards, where an unmarked police car was stationed around 3:50 a.m., the criminal complaint said. The officers saw Hunter fail to stop at a red light at the intersection, according to the complaint.

When the police tried to stop the 2010 Dodge Caravan with their lights and sirens turned on, Hunter drove off and made a right turn onto Farmers Boulevard, the DA’s office said. He then made an illegal left turn onto 178th Place and drove down the opposite direction on the one-way street, according to the complaint.

Hunter was driving at speeds close to 70 mph, the DA’s office said.

He eventually hit a dead end at 178th Street and 132nd Avenue, got out of the minivan and tried to jump a nearby fence, but was apprehended by the officers, the criminal complaint said.

The vehicle was a rental that was taken out by another person, according to the criminal complaint. Investigators would not comment on how Hunter acquired the minivan.

He was held on $50,000 bail following his arraignment, according to a spokeswoman for the DA’s office.

Hunter has had a criminal record of drug-related incidents, according to the New York Post.

He served an 18-month sentence for a 2003 conviction on possession of marijuana and forgery charges, the paper reported. He was arrested twice this year, once on July 19 on charges of criminal possession of marijuana and another on Sept. 4 for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs, according to the Post.

He is awaiting court dates on both arrests, the paper reported.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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