Drug traffickers nabbed on I-80 | ParkRecord.com

Drug traffickers nabbed on I-80

Sarah Moffitt, The Park Record

The Summit County Sheriff’s Department seized over 80 pounds of marijuana this week after conducting two routine traffic stops.

On Tuesday, 62 pounds of marijuana and hashish were seized after a deputy conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Wanship.

According to Detective Sargent Ron Bridge, a deputy pulled over Walter Raleigh Jones, 62, of Michigan on I-80 eastbound after he committed a minor traffic offense. During the traffic stop, the deputy smelled marijuana.

According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Department, Jones voluntarily allowed the deputy to search his vehicle. The deputy found multiple garment bags containing over 60 pounds of marijuana and hashish, a more potent form of marijuana, in the trunk of the vehicle. Bridge estimated the value of the confiscated drugs to be around $120,000.

Jones was arrested and booked in the Summit County Jail for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. As of Wednesday morning, Bridge said Jones had posted $15,400 for bail.

On Wednesday afternoon, a deputy pulled over a pickup on I-80 eastbound near Wanship for a minor traffic violation. The deputy observed indicators of drug trafficking and called for a drug sniffing dog, according to Bridge.

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According to a press release from the Sheriff’s department, the dog indicated there was drugs in the vehicle. Upon searching the vehicle, deputies found 20 pounds of marijuana, a quarter of a pound of hashish and large amounts of cash. The Sheriff’s department would not disclose the amount of cash that was found. Bridge estimated the value of the drugs to be around $40,000.

The driver, Darold Rainey, 50, from Missouri, was booked in the Summit County Jail for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. Rainey had not posted bail as of Thursday night.

Bridge said the Sheriff’s department does not think the two cases are related.

"Interstate 80 is a major thoroughfare for transporting narcotics east to west," he said. "The Sheriff’s department is proactive in working with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to try to stop the large amount of drugs that are transported on I-80 on a daily basis. These cases show that pulling people over for minor driving infractions can help solve major crimes."

Bridge added that both of the vehicles were just passing through and appeared to have no ties to Summit County. The Sheriff’s department will test the marijuana and then increate it following the trials.

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