Lehigh Valley

State police say traffic stop turns up 15 pounds of pot

The Lehigh County men were stopped on I-78

WILLIAMS TWP., Pa. - Pennsylvania State Police arrested a pair of Lehigh County men Sunday afternoon after a traffic stop along Interstate 78 turned up about 15 pounds of pot.

Sam Sengphachanh, of Brookside Road in Lower Macungie Township, and Thomas L. Taylor, of Dorset Court in Allentown, are facing drug charges following their arrests in Williams Township about 4:30 p.m. Sunday. District Judge Richard Yetter arraigned the pair late Sunday night, setting bail for each man at $60,000.

A state trooper with the Belfast barracks stopped an Infiniti Q80 along westbound I-78 because of a large white piece of paper attached to the passenger side windshield of the car that was partially obstructing the view, according to court records. The trooper said the vehicle was also following a tractor trailer hauling cars far too closely.

Police said Sengphachanh was behind the wheel and produced an incorrectly completed rental form for the car when asked for his registration. The 35-year-old told the trooper he was on his home from a recording studio in New York City.

He seemed “extremely nervous” and didn’t speak, instead allowing his passenger, Taylor, do the talking, according to records. Police said the 33-year-old insisted on answering questions directed to Sengphachanh.

Police removed Sengphachanh from the vehicle and asked for permission to search the car. Records indicate the trooper allegedly found 15 vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana inside an Ikea bag. Each bag of pot weighed about 1 pound.

Taylor was detained and refused to speak with the trooper.

Police charged each man with possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. Sengphachanh also faces a summary traffic offense.

Sengphachanh was released from Northampton County Prison after posting bail. Taylor, meanwhile, remains in county jail. Both men are scheduled for preliminary hearings on June 16.

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