Chesterton Tribune



Portage Police: 12 lbs of marijuana found in vehicle

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Two Ohio residents were arrested on charges of intent to distribute marijuana after police located 12 pounds of marijuana inside the rear of a vehicle during a traffic stop, Portage Police said.

According to police, at 11:58 a.m. on Tuesday, April 22, motorist Michael D. Sabia, 31, of Massillon, Ohio, was stopped on the Portage exit ramp onto the Interstate 80/90 Toll Road after an officer clocked him traveling 50 miles per hour in a 40 mph posted zone.

Police said that Sabia and his passenger Carl Lewis Herman, 33, of Massillon, Ohio, appeared “nervous’ and would not make eye contact.

Sabia advised they were driving back home to Ohio from Nevada having “missed a flight,” police said.

When questioned if he had anything illegal inside the vehicle, Sabia produced a partially smoked marijuana cigarette he had in his phone case and advised police that Herman had a “joint” in his pocket, police said.

Sabia additionally “uttered” to police “pounds, under the suitcase” and police subsequently located two large plastic duffle bags containing smaller, individual bags of marijuana underneath a mid-sized suitcase with the assistance of a K-9 unit, police said.

Police said they also found two small cardboard boxes containing five syringes with “clear liquid and black particles” inside them.

Both Sabia and Herman were transported to Porter County Jail and were charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Sabia was issued a citation for speeding while Herman was additionally charged with resisting arrest.

One of the large bags recovered contained 6.9 pounds of marijuana and the other contained 5.1 pounds for a collective weight of 12 pounds, police said. The street value of the marijuana was estimated by police at up to $45,000.

Portage Police Chief Troy Williams issued a statement today which said, “The ability to intercept illegal drug activity is vital to combating this issue. The arrests of Cpl. (James) Eagen with assistance from Officers (Richard) Krieg and (Richard) Schmitt while working with the HITDA Initiative serve as a reminder that at any time the transportation of large quantities of illegal drugs are occurring on our intestates and highways. If we are all able to make even a small dent then we have served our profession well.”

“This also goes to show the importance of having K-9 units on our force. This was exemplary police work by all involved,” Williams said.


Posted 4/30/2014