A 30-year-old New York man was pulled over and subsequently charged with several drug crimes in Maryland. Police say that he was stopped because he did not change lanes upon seeing another police officer who was dealing with an unrelated traffic stop. The officer reported that he noted “several criminal indicators” during the traffic stop.
Law enforcement officials brought a K-9 unit to the scene to sniff the car for drugs. The dog allegedly indicated the presence of drugs, and the officers searched the trunk. They reported finding 56 pounds of suspected marijuana in plastic wrapping. The driver was charged with transporting 5 to 45 kilos of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute. These are both felony offenses in the state of Maryland.
Officers said that the man did not make a statement about the drugs. He was transported to a commissioner for a bail review and was granted bond which was set at $150,000. That amount was later lowered to $75,000 by the district court judge. He was able to post the bond and was released until his trial date. There was no information available about when the case would be scheduled for a hearing.
The report does not detail what the “criminal indicators” were in this stop. It’s possible that the traffic violation reported was a pretense and that the police officer had profiled the individual. Police officers have to have probable cause to conduct searches on vehicles; without it, the evidence that was seized in the search could be excluded from the trial. In this case, the drug that was allegedly seized is the only evidence that the man was committing a crime, and, without it, the case will be unsubstantiated.
Source: My Eastern Shore MD, “Kilos of suspected marijuana seized in traffic stop”, Trish McGee, November 30, 2013