Lehigh Valley

Faulty brake light leads to marijuana arrest

Vladimir Mercedes of Allentown busted in Lower Macungie

LOWER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP, Pa. - A routine traffic stop for a faulty brake light led to a marijuana arrest Thursday afternoon in Lower Macungie Township.

Charged was 23-year-old Vladimir Arturo Mercedes of the 400 block of N. 6th Street in Allentown.

Shortly before 4:30 p.m. Thursday, a Pennsylvania State Police officer on patrol noticed the right brake light was not functioning properly on a 1997 Toyota Camry going south on Route 222.

The police officer activated his emergency lights and siren and stopped the car.

Three males were in the car. The passengers were identified as 18-year-old Ronaldo Elieser Mercedes and a 17-year-old juvenile, both also from Allentown. Vladimir Mercedes was driving.

When speaking with the driver, who seemed to be very nervous and anxious, the police officer detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the car.

He asked the three males to get out of the car so he could search it.

Under the driver's seat, he found a gray plastic bag containing 38 small black plastic bags, each containing about .5 grams of marijuana.

Also under the seat was a clear plastic bag containing four smaller plastic bags, each holding 4.5 grams of marijuana.

Vladimir Mercedes was charged with criminal conspiracy and three counts of violating the state's drug laws.

He also was cited for having a brake light that did not work properly.

He is in Lehigh County Prison. Bail was set at $25,000.

Police did not reveal if charges were filed against his two passengers, although the police report indicates the juvenile conspired with the defendant to deliver the marijuana.

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