A routine traffic stop on Interstate 81 on the morning of Sept. 20 led to the discovery and seizure of almost 12 pounds of marijuana and 950 anti-anxiety pills according to the Maryland State Police. Reports indicate that a 26-year-old New York man was taken into custody at the scene in connection with the haul. He is said to be being held without bond at a Washington County detention facility on drug possession with the intent to distribute charges. He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 17.
A MSP trooper says that he pulled over the man's Honda sedan for exceeding the posted speed limit at about 10:15 a.m. near Williamsport. The trooper claims that the man was unable to produce a valid driver's license and provided a false name and date of birth. These statements along with what were described as several indicators of criminal activity led to an escalation of the situation and a K-9 unit being called in.
Police say that the dog alerted to the presence of narcotics during an air sniff of the Honda. During an ensuing search of the vehicle, troopers allegedly found 11 bags containing 5,422 grams of marijuana in the trunk, a plastic bag containing anti-anxiety medication in the glovebox and plastic jars containing about 7 grams of a substance believed to be cocaine in the center console. The seized drugs have a combined street value of approximately $34,500 according to media reports.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that traffic stops may not be prolonged unreasonably to give police the time needed to call narcotics-sniffing dogs to the scene. Accordingly, experienced criminal defense attorneys could seek to have drug charges dismissed when this may have happened.
Source: The Herald-Mail, "Maryland State Police say I-81 motorist had 12 pounds of pot, 950 pills", Mike Lewis, Sept. 21, 2018