The Nebraska State Patrol have reported that a series of traffic stops on Oct. 25 led to the seizure of about 160 pounds of marijuana and products containing THC. Troopers say that they also discovered $216,000 in suspected drug money. The traffic stops all took place on Interstate 80 near Roscoe.
The series of events began when two Indiana residents were taken into custody after the Ford Explorer they were traveling in was pulled over for speeding at about 11:30 a.m. Troopers say that they found large amounts of cash in the SUV that the men were unable to properly explain. A third Indiana man was charged after his Toyota Corolla was also pulled over for speeding and troopers determined that the two vehicles had been traveling together.
The seizures continued when troopers allegedly discovered 104 pounds of marijuana hidden in duffel bags after searching a Chevrolet Suburban that had been pulled over for a motor vehicle infraction at about 8:45 p.m. A 24-year-old Illinois man has been charged with drug possession and drug possession with the intent to deliver in connection with the haul. A further 59 pounds of marijuana, 2.4 pounds of THC wax and 49 THC vaporizer cartridges were allegedly discovered shortly afterwards after a Nissan sedan was pulled over for failing to obey a stop sign. Troopers say that they searched the vehicle after a drug sniffing dog alerted to the presence of narcotics. The 30-year-old California woman behind the wheel was taken into custody at the scene according to reports.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may sometimes seek to have drug possession or trafficking charges dismissed when the evidence against their clients was discovered during warrantless searches. Police officers may only search individuals or their vehicles without first obtaining a search warrant when they have good reason to believe that evidence of criminal activity is being concealed, and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that routine traffic stops cannot be extended unreasonably so that K-9 units can be summoned.
Source: NTV, “NSP finds 163 pounds of marijuana in multiple traffic stops”, Staff report, Oct. 26, 2018