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Texas traffic stop arrests target marijuana distribution

The Texas Department of Public Safety has been pursuing a program of aggressive traffic stops, seizing over 269 pounds in cannabis in one week in Oldham County. The traffic stops began on Feb. 6, when one state trooper stopped a vehicle for an unnamed traffic violation as it traveled on Interstate 40 near the city of Vega. Authorities discovered 123 pounds of marijuana inside the vehicle. That amount of cannabis has a value of around $746,000.

Two men in the car, a 2017 Nissan Sentra, were arrested and charged with felony marijuana possession. In the same incident, another vehicle, a 2014 Infiniti Q50, cut in front of the stopped vehicle and then drove away from the scene. Later, the Infiniti was stopped by police as well, and the driver of that car was also charged with being involved with the drug transportation.

On Feb. 9, the police seized 64 pounds of cannabis after stopping a Nissan Altima driving eastbound on Interstate 40. When a drug-sniffing dog arrived on the scene, it noted an alert on the car. In a search, the cannabis was found inside duffle bags stored inside the car's trunk. The driver was also arrested and charged with felony marijuana possession. On the same day, police found another 82 pounds of marijuana when they stopped a 2016 Chevrolet Impala also traveling near Vega on Interstate 40. This driver was arrested and accused of felony possession of marijuana.

Drug felony charges are some of the most aggressively pursued cases in the state. People who have been handed them could face significant consequences if a conviction is obtained. Accordingly, they might find it advisable to meet with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. One possible strategy could be to challenge a traffic stop as not being made with the requisite reasonable suspicion.

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