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Manhattan men stopped in Colorado with 20 pounds of marijuana, police say

Paul Shockley

By The Mercury

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado — Two Manhattan men were arrested early Tuesday after a traffic stop on Interstate 70 turned up 20 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of their car, according to arrest affidavits.

George Chandler, 23, and Cody Williams, 21, both of Manhattan are being held without bond at the Mesa County Jail pending their first court hearings Thursday after their arrests on suspicion of possession of intent to distribute more than 5 pounds of marijuana.

A Western Colorado Drug Task force officer driving east on I-70 near milepost 17 reported coming across a Toyota Corolla that the officer said he “paced” at moving at 80 mph — 5 mph above the posted speed limit, according to the affidavits. The car was stopped around 12:11 a.m.

The officer noted an odor of marijuana upon walking up on the car, while the driver, Chandler, was “stuttering and hesitant” in responding to questions, the affidavit said. Chandler said he and Williams were returning from Las Vegas after attending a friend’s funeral, explaining the death was “gang related” while unsure how the friend died.

A police dog alerted officers to the presence of drugs, the affidavit said.

The affidavit said officers deemed there was probable cause to search the vehicle — this after Williams and Chandler refused consent to search — and found approximately 20 pounds of marijuana inside a pair of duffel bags in the trunk.

The pot was in 20 vacuum-sealed food saver packages.

Officers found a vacuum sealer, which smelled of raw marijuana, inside a Marine Corps duffel bag which Williams said belonged to him.

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