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Johnson County Deputies Seize Pot During Interstate 80 Traffic Stop

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Police said they found more than a pound of dry marijuana plants during a traffic stop Thursday night.

According to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy was dispatched to Interstate 80 at 7:47 p.m. for a possible intoxicated driver who threw beer cans at a convenience store. The deputy found the suspect vehicle traveling westbound on I-80 and pulled it over at the Oxford exit. Officers said they could smell a strong, alcoholic odor coming from the vehicle and also observed a marijuana bud in the center console, prompting a search of the vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint, the search turned up 602 grams, or 1.3 pounds, of dry marijuana plants.

The driver of the vehicle, 55-year-old Thomas P. Lueders, of Golden, Colo., was arrested and faces charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and a drug tax stamp violation, both Class D felonies.

Arrested along with Lueders was a passenger in the vehicle, 33-year-old Dustin M. Hammond of Park Forest, Ill. Police said Hammond had marijuana in his front shirt pocket. He faces one count of possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor.