Clement Hunter drove his rented Dodge Caravan through a red light at Farmers and Merrick boulevards in Queens around 4 a.m., police told the New York Daily News.
Officers said they tried to pull him over, but the driver sped off and ended up on a dead-end street.
"He kind of traps himself. The officers basically block him off and he tries to flee on foot," a police spokesman said. "We grab him, and inside the Caravan we find 513 pounds of marijuana."
Hunter, 30, of Jamaica, Queens, was charged with criminal possession of marijuana.
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