Lehigh Valley

Police allegedly find 47 bags of pot in trunk of speeding car

Car was driving about 30 mph over the speed limit

U. MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. - Police in Lehigh County allege they found 47 bags of marijuana in the trunk of a car they clocked at 78 mph in a 45 mph zone.

Carlos O. Rites, of the 800 block of Cherokee Street in Fountain Hill, is now facing conspiracy and drug charges in connection with the traffic stop along Route 222 last December in Upper Macungie Township. Authorities filed charges on Feb. 9, and District Judge Jacob Hammond arraigned the 24-year-old Saturday morning, setting bail at $50,000.

Upper Macungie Township police were monitoring traffic along Route 222 at Route 100 on Dec. 4in the  Breinigsville area of the township, when an officer spotted a white Toyota Celica driving about 78 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to court records. After police stopped the car near Grim Road, an officer said he smelled marijuana coming from the car.

Police said the driver, later identified as Rites, appeared nervous and looked toward the trunk before allegedly telling the officer, “There shouldn’t be any marijuana in here,” according to records.

Rites refused to consent to a search, prompting police to call in a South Whitehall Township K-9 unit. The dog allegedly detected drugs in the car.

Police searched Rites and found $345 in his pocket and searched the car, finding about 8 grams of marijuana in the center console, a Colt 1911 replica BB gun under the front seat and a plastic bag containing nearly 12 grams of pot and a digital scale in the front pocket of a green backpack, according to records.

The car was impounded, and investigators secured a search warrant. Police said they found 47 baggies of weed packaged in two large vacuum-sealed bags and a box of sandwich baggies. In all, police said they found 651 grams of pot.

Police charged Rites with conspiracy to distribute, conspiracy to possess marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding and failure to carry a license. Rites failed to post bail and was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for Feb. 27.

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