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Officer follows nose, finds 3 pounds of marijuana

Over $12,000 of weed pinched in highway bust

Staff writer

Clinton Jeffrey, Assistant Chief at Marion Police Department, literally smelled a crime when he stopped a red Ford Mustang on June 14 for doing 78 mph on US-56.

The Mustang was east of US-77 when Jeffrey caught up with it. The driver, Jordan Bryan, 18, of Eureka, Missouri, was visibly nervous, Jeffrey said.

“I smelled marijuana coming from the car as soon as I got to the window,” Jeffrey said. “I had to pause. It was just so overwhelming.”

Jeffrey went to his squad car to get away from the drug’s pungent odor, then returned to confirm his initial suspicion.

Jeffrey’s nose was apt.

He informed Bryan that he had probable cause to search the vehicle because of the intense aroma, at which point Bryan told him where his stash was stowed.

There were two bags in the Mustang’s front console along with glass pipes and assorted drug paraphernalia.

However, Jeffrey said he knew the scent was too strong to be coming just from those bags.

He inquired of Bryan again and was directed to the trunk where he found three one-pound bags of vacuum-packed marijuana, valued at $12,000, nestled inside a black duffle bag.

“It looked like it had been grown hydroponically in a controlled environment,” Jeffrey said. “There were no leaves, seeds or stems. It was refined down to buds. Marijuana like this is usually more potent than stuff grown out in the open around here. It stunk up the entire office when we got it back to evidence.”

Jeffrey said it was the largest amount of marijuana seized by Marion police since he started six years ago.

He also discovered 72 grams of marijuana oil valued at $750, $2,060 cash, and numerous plastic baggies strewn about the car, including several stuffed inside a thermos.

The grand total of drugs, cash, and paraphernalia was estimated to be $15,050.

“He was 391 miles from home, coming back from Colorado, where marijuana is legal to buy,” Jeffrey said. “But I don’t think it’s legal to buy that much, even if you live there.”

Bryan bonded out shortly after he was booked into county jail on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of paraphernalia.

Eventually the mega-haul of marijuana will be destroyed, but police can apply to obtain seized money if it is determined to be drug related, Jeffrey said.

If acquired, money could be allocated to pay for drug-fighting equipment, drug-related training, or even another canine officer, Jeffrey said.

Last modified June 25, 2015

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