State Watch

Indiana police dog finds millions of dollars worth of marijuana in routine traffic stop: police

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Indiana State Police on Tuesday announced that they had found more than 1,200 pounds of marijuana worth as much as $8.5 million during a routine traffic stop with the help of a police dog. 

Authorities in a press release said they had stopped a van along the highway near the town of Lowell, Indiana, located about 50 miles southeast of Chicago, for a moving violation. 

Upon inspecting the vehicle, which police said included a canine sniff, the officers then opened the back of the van, leading them to dozens of large boxes and bags that in total contained 1,264 individually sealed bags of marijuana. 

According to the release, police measured approximately 1,275 pounds of marijuana, with a “conservative estimated street value” of anywhere from $5.7 million to $8.5 million. 

Police identified the driver as 31-year-old Christopher Colburn from California, who now faces a preliminary Level 5 felony charge of dealing marijuana, as well as a Level 6 felony of possessing marijuana with a prior conviction, according to the release. 

Under Indiana state law, a person charged with the sale or cultivation of 10 pounds or more of marijuana can face a punishment of up to six years in prison, with a fine of up to $10,000, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

The arrest comes as marijuana sales across the country have spiked throughout the pandemic. According to a report issued last month by the cannabis information website Leafly, Americans spent 71 percent more last year on marijuana products than they did a year prior. 

More states in recent years have adopted a range of laws easing restrictions on marijuana use, from decriminalizing its possession to legalizing cannabis for medical or recreational use. 

In Indiana, however, possession of any amount of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor of up to 180 days in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000. 

The state does allow for the possession and sale of CBD products containing less than 0.3 percent of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Tags Canine Cannabis CBD Chicago drug bust Indiana Indiana State Police legal marijuana weed
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