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Cell phone stop leads to drug charges

  1. buseman
    Police pulled him over for talking on his cell phone, but a man on the southern tier didn't drive away from this traffic stop with just a ticket. Officers hauled him off to jail.

    A Salamanca man is now behind bars after police took a closer look, and discovered two garbage bags full of marijuana that have an estimated street value of about $100,000.

    The SUV with the out-of-state license plates caught the attention of Salamanca Police officer Joseph Frentz because the driver was talking on his cell phone.

    But when Officer Frentz and his partner pulled the Jeep Cherokee over and approached the vehicle, they could smell the marijuana.

    Officer Frentz said, Asked him what he had. He handed over a small pipe, and a small amount of marijuana.

    The Salamanca officers say the pot-smell was overwhelming, leading them to believe there was much more, and they discovered a bonanza: 20 pounds of marijuana.

    Me and my partner searched the vehicle, and found two garbage bags of marijuana. They were in the back of his Jeep, explained Officer Frentz.

    Police charged 26-year-old Daniel Paone of Salamanca with talking on a cell phone while driving, and criminal possession of marijuana, a felony.

    Chief Troy Westfall said, It is obviously not a small amount. It is not something someone is going to use themselves so it leads us to believe the person was involved in dealing with marijuana, to some degree.

    A drug bust of this magnitude generally takes a lot of work by narcotics detectives, but this was like having $100,000 worth of marijuana dropped in their laps.

    Cops say it is something they are trained for, known as patrol interdiction, which often take strange turns.

    And this came off of a simple traffic stop and now we have 20 pounds of marijuana that will not hit the streets of Salamanca, and I think that is a good thing, said Chief Westfall.

    Daniel Paone is being held at the Cattaraugus County Jail in Little Valley, and is due in Salamanca City Court to face the drug and traffic charges this Friday.

    Tuesday, 01 Jun 2010
    Eli George


  1. Horiz
    Jesus what an idiot. Don't talk on your phone while travelling with 20 pounds of weed, especially if you aren't hiding it very well! :thumbsdown:
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