An officer already smelled three pounds of "brick" marijuana during a traffic stop near Rogersville Saturday before HCSO K-9 Officer "Filou" allegedly confirmed that the pot was there. (contributed photo)
ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County K-9 Officer “Filou” confirmed what narcotics officer strongly suspected Saturday afternoon, that there was allegedly a lot of highly pungent marijuana hidden in a vehicle during a traffic stop near Rogersville.
Saturday afternoon the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office and the Third Judicial District Drug Task Force were conducting a drug interdiction program on Rt. 66 near Rogersville.
Drug interdiction programs are intended to stop the flow of drugs on roadways through intense traffic observation and enforcement.
Saturday’s operation was a success, with three pounds of marijuana and more than $1,800 in cash being seized from a single traffic stop.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday officers observed a 2005 Dodge Caravan that was traveling South on Rt. 66-S allegedly cross the white fog line, at which time a traffic stop was conducted.
The driver was identified as Dusten Daniel Hurd, 23, 885 Weems Chapel Road, Greeneville; and his passenger was identified as Macario Soles, 27, 902 Center Street, Morristown.
Sheriff Ronnie Lawson stated in a report that as the officer spoke with the two occupants of the van about the traffic violation, the officer could detect a strong odor consistent with raw marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.
“The officer then called for Sgt. Lynn Campbell and his narcotics detection K-9, Filou, who was already in the area,” Lawson said. “K-9 Filou was deployed to conduct a vehicle sniff of the exterior air space, surrounding the vehicle. During the vehicle sniff, K-9 Filou quickly alerted to the odor of illicit drugs, on the area of the driver’s door.”
A pillowcase was recovered from behind the driver’s seat, which contained a trash bag. Inside the trash bag, officers allegedly recovered three individual “bricks” of marijuana, which was later determined to be a combined weight of approximately three pounds.
Hurd was also allegedly found to have a small amount of marijuana in his pocket.
More than $1,800 in cash was also seized from Hurd and Soles, as well as the vehicle.
Both were charged with possession of marijuana more than one pound with intent to deliver, and Hurd was additionally received a traffic charge for failure to maintain lane.
Through further investigation the HCSO alleged that the marijuana actually belonged to Soles, and Hurd was allegedly being compensated to assist with its transport.
Police suspected that the marijuana originated from Mexico.
Hurd was released on $5,000 bond, and Soles remains lodged in the Hawkins County Jail on a $20,000.