Lehigh Valley

Police allege driver caught smoking joint at DUI checkpoint

Officers said they found a bag of pot in the trunk

L. SAUCON TWP., Pa. - Authorities allege that an Allentown man fired up a joint early Friday morning as he rolled up on a DUI checkpoint.

Rashan Lawson, of East Montgomery Street, faces drug possession charges following his arrest by Lower Saucon Township police about 1:30 a.m. Friday. District Judge Antonio Grifo arraigned the 37-year-old a few hours later, setting bail at $50,000.

Lower Saucon Township police manned a DUI checkpoint along North Mountain Drive in conjunction with the Freemansburg and Hellertown police departments. An officer allegedly spotted Lawson lighting and smoking a “brown, rolled blunt” as he approached the checkpoint, according to court records. The officer said he detected the “distinguishable” odor of marijuana.

Authorities also learned Lawson’s license was suspended. He was detained for being suspected of driving under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police allegedly found a plastic baggie of pot, a baggie containing marijuana residue and a bag of pot inside a purse in the trunk tied with twine. Authorities said they found in total about 325 grams of pot in the car.

Police charged Lawson with possession with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, marijuana possession, driving with a suspended license and driving without headlights. He failed to post bail after his arraignment and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 28.

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