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Alfa Romeo provides sweet ride for 45 kilograms of cannabis

Sep 20, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Woman stopped in Texas was driving illicit cargo to Georgia and Maryland

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A 30-year-old woman driving a 2019 Alfa Romeo now faces a felony cannabis possession charge after several traffic violations attracted the attention of Texas officers who subsequently found 45 kilograms in the luxury vehicle.

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The motorist and sole occupant was stopped on Interstate 10 in Orange, Tex. on Sept. 15 by members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Highway Interdiction Unit, notes a police Facebook post.

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While speaking to the driver, the detectives “noticed what appeared to be a large amount of marijuana in plain view.” Recreational cannabis is illegal in Texas.

  1. The officer was working a Safe Roads Enhanced Enforcement shift in Airdrie when the stop occurred. /

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  2. As the officer approached the car, his nose picked up an a tell-tale skunky scent. /

    Hidden cannabis discovered after officer stops vehicle with expired registration

  3. Troopers stopping vehicle smelled cannabis, kicking off a search that revealed almost 55 kilograms of suspected marijuana inside three large boxes and a duffel bag. / PHOTO BY VMARGINEANU / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

    Man busted for weed after seen driving wrong way up interstate exit ramp

Having reportedly seen both traffic violations and suspected cannabis in the vehicle, that was enough to carry out a probable cause search of the vehicle.

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Officers can legally search a vehicle in Texas if they have the driver’s permission, the driver has been arrested or there is “probable cause or reasonable suspicion that there are illicit items or evidence of a crime in the vehicle,” according to the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson.

“Police may only initiate a traffic stop if they reasonably believe that the driver has violated a traffic law,” the information adds.

The search revealed “a bulk amount of packaged marijuana inside of numerous plastic totes and suitcases inside the vehicle.” In all, the cannabis totalled just shy of 45 kilograms.

Adult-use cannabis not allowed in either intended destination states

The police investigation determined the illegal bud was on its way to the Georgia and Maryland areas. “It is also believed that the suspect was utilizing stolen and fraudulent identifications to further the criminal activities,” the post states.

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Police discovered numerous cheques and credit cards with various names and addresses, the police notes, adding the information has been referred to both Georgia and Maryland officials for further investigation.

Adult use cannabis is illegal in Georgia, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Possession of less than 28 grams is a misdemeanour charge punishable by a year in jail and a $1,330 fine, but any more than that amount becomes a felony charge, which carries a maximum of one to 10 years in prison and a fine of $6,650.

Image of confiscated packaged cannabis. /
Image of confiscated packaged cannabis. / Photo by Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Facebook

With regards to felony amounts, Kohn & Yager defence attorneys reports that only five U.S. states “are more restrictive on their marijuana laws.”

The other destination for the illicit cannabis, Maryland, also has not legalized recreational weed, although doing so will be on the ballot this fall.

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If voters vote yes and provide the green light, that “supports legalizing marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older beginning in July 2023 and directing the Maryland State Legislature to pass laws for the use, distribution, regulation and taxation of marijuana,” per Ballotpedia.

The driver stopped in Texas was arrested and transported to a local jail for possession of 22.7 to 907.2 (50 to 2,000 pounds) of cannabis. Upon conviction, NORML reports the charge carries a top penalty of 20 years in prison and a $13,300 fine.

Drugs and luxury vehicles sometimes cross paths

Luxury vehicles may not be the regular rides for drugs, but the two have certainly crossed paths in the past.

Indeed, shortly after recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada, the Ontario Provincial Police in Sarnia issued its first ticket under the Cannabis Act. The 38-year-old man reportedly driving “a luxury vehicle” was stopped as part of a RIDE campaign and found with weed “readily available,” per CBC.

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In late March 2022, officers with the California Highway Patrol Southern Division Special Services Vehicle Theft Unit concluded a two-month-long vehicle theft investigation involving a large volume of luxury vehicles, which had been fraudulently purchased from unsuspecting local dealerships. Seizing almost three dozen stolen vehicles worth about $3 million, officers also found “an indoor marijuana grow operation of well over 400 plants.”

About a month later in April, Herald and News reported that a police raid on an alleged illegal cannabis grow-op in Oregon ended with the seizure of 1,700 plants and four very expensive luxury cars. Detectives with the Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team found and confiscated a Bentley, Maserati, BMX X6 and Range Rover, all late models, but with an estimated worth of $532,000.

And this past August, Australian Border Force found millions of dollars of illicit drugs in a 1960 vintage Bentley S2 inside a shipping container from Canada. An X-ray and examination identified anomalies, leading to the discovery of a large quantity of methylamphetamine concealed behind the car’s headlights.

Referred to New South Wales Police, the Bentley was partially dismantled and a total of 161 kilograms of methylamphetamine and 30 kg of cocaine located.

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