Marijuana seized in traffic stop
Georgia State Patrol officers were able to seize some 135 pounds of suspected marijuana during a routine traffic stop last Thursday morning on I-20 at approximately 10:30 a.m.
Troopers R.A. Malone reportedly stopped an unidentified Hispanic male driving on the east bound lanes for a seatbelt violation. He was later assisted by Trooped K.B. Swicord, also of the GSP Post 8, located in Madison.
The unidentified male was allegedly unable to produce a driver’s license or proof of insurance, at which time he was questioned as to his destination. The driver became increasingly nervous according to GSP reports, at which time Trooper Malone asked for a consent to search the vehicle, which was subsequently granted.
A search of the vehicle reportedly produced a unmarked cardboard box which contained a multitude of wrapped packages of suspected marijuana, most packages later weighing at approximately six to seven pounds each. The box was placed underneath the rear seats of the 1998 Pontiac Voyager minivan.
The driver has yet to be identified in an effort to continue further investigations carried out by the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force, a multi-county group representing much of northeast Georgia, including Morgan County.
The driver was charged with driving with no license, proof of insurance, no seatbelt, and felony trafficking, a charge which carried a mandatory 10-year sentence that can be extended up to 30 years.
Trooper Swicord later commented on the amount of suspected marijuana seized during the stop.
"It’s unusual in that we usually don’t see this kind of increment," he sai
d. According to the driver’s testimony at the time of the stop, the contraband was expected to arrive somewhere in North Carolina.