By Lisa Kashinsky firstname.lastname@example.org –
The man and woman had $65,598 in cash and several bundles of marijuana in their car when a state trooper stopped the vehicle, according to a police report.
Police said Tommy Marte, 23, of Methuen and Mery Rodriguez, 24, of Lawrence were both charged with possession with intent to distribute a Class D substance (marijuana); possession with intent to distribute a Class C substance (THC); and conspiracy to violate drug laws. Marte was also cited for operating without headlights and driving while in possession of an open container of marijuana, according to a press release from state police.
The release said that shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Trooper Joseph Diliegro was on patrol on Amesbury Street in Lawrence when he saw a Ford Explorer driving without its headlights on. Diliegro stopped the vehicle and, as he approached it, he observed the driver, Marte, making “quick, furtive movements” according to the report. The trooper also noticed an “extremely strong odor of marijuana” coming from the car and saw a small bag containing material believed to be marijuana on the floor, the report said.
The trooper then saw a larger bag also believed to contain marijuana, as well as large amounts of cash in various parts of the vehicle, the report said.
During a search of the vehicle, a large, unzipped duffel bag containing 29 large clear plastic bags of material believed to be marijuana was found in plain sight, the report said. Also discovered were nine plastic bags containing about 90 tubes of “THC Rolls,” five additional large clear bags of a substance believed to be marijuana, plastic bags, four cellphones, and $65,598 in cash in several bundles secured with rubber bands, state police said.
No effort was made by Marte or Rodriguez to conceal any of the items, police said. The packaging and cash were consistent with practices used in drug distribution, leading to the charges, police said.
A complete report will appear in Saturday’s print edition of The Eagle-Tribune and at eagletribune.com.
Follow Lisa Kashinsky on Twitter @lisakash23.