06/17/2006

Traffic stop leads to big bust for Md. rookie

By MELISSA HARRIS
Balitmore Sun  
 
BALTIMORE, Md. — More than 400 pounds of marijuana - compressed into heavy blocks, wrapped in plastic and coated with an oil to cover the odor - were confiscated after a rookie Howard County police officer stopped a vehicle for failing to have an emissions test and smelled the drug.

Officer David Aronovic said that he was running license plate numbers through a computer database in his patrol car around 11:45 p.m. Wednesday in Jessup when the registration on Chester Griffiths' 1995 Jeep Cherokee popped up as suspended.

Aronovic arrested Griffiths, 43, of the 4000 block of Carlisle Ave. in Baltimore, on northbound U.S. 1 near Route 175 and then, during a search of his vehicle, found the 436 pounds of marijuana stored in three cardboard boxes padded with green Styrofoam, he said. Police estimate that the cache of standard, commercial-grade marijuana is worth $500,000.

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