PERRYVILLE — A Perryville Police Department officer followed his nose after catching a whiff of suspect marijuana coming from a passing vehicle, and that led to him confiscating drug-related evidence and arresting the driver, according to Cecil County District Court records.
The investigation started at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, when PPD Officer Pierson smelled the odor of marijuana coming from a southbound 2014 Toyota Camry on Perrylawn Drive while he was observing traffic on that road near Chesapeake Overlook Parkway, police reported.
“I had both of my front windows of my patrol vehicle down, and when the vehicle passed my location, I smelled a strong odor of marijuana as the vehicle passed . . . The vehicle was the only vehicle observed on the road at the time that the odor was smelled/detected. The smell dissipated as the passenger vehicle moved further from my location,” Pierson summarizes in his written statement of probable cause.
Moments later, the officer pulled behind the suspect car after the motorist stopped for a red light on Perrylawn Drive, according to court records.
As the officer’s patrol vehicle moved closer to the car, the smell of suspect marijuana, once again, grew stronger — prompting Pierson to make a traffic stop on that road near the Interstate 95 southbound ramp, court records show.
The odor of suspect marijuana grew even more pungent as Pierson walked toward the stopped car and, when the suspect — Jabreel Vernal Porch, 21, of Havre de Grace — lowered the driver’s side window, it was apparent that the smell in question was coming from that vehicle, police reported.
Porch was forthright when questioned by Pierson, according to charging documents.
“I asked (Porch) if he had recently consumed or had any marijuana in the vehicle, to which he advised he did . . . I asked (Porch) how much marijuana he may have in the vehicle, to which he stated, ‘Enough to get me in trouble’,” court records show.
Pierson dispatched PPD Cpl. Morgan and Officer Lenzi to the scene and they assisted him with a probable-cause search, which yielded a total of approximately 91 grams of suspect marijuana, translating to about three and a quarter ounces, court records allege.
Investigators found the suspect marijuana — parceled into eight plastic baggies — inside a backpack on the passenger’s side of the car, police said. Porch had told the investigators that the suspect marijuana would be inside that backpack, police added.
In addition, searchers found a plastic baggie holding about five grams of suspect hallucinogenic mushroom caps, equating to slightly less than a quarter-ounce; a digital scale and $495 in cash, according to charging documents.
Court records further allege that the eight baggies containing suspect marijuana, along with the digital scale, the bag holding suspect hallucinogenic mushroom caps and the cash in varied bill denominations, are “constant and indicative of illegal drug sales.”
Pierson arrested Porch at the traffic stop scene, police reported.
Prompted by the “strong odor of marijuana” and Porch admitting to having consumed marijuana directly before the traffic stop, Pierson conducted field sobriety tests on Porch, police said. The test results indicated that Porch was under the influence at the time of the traffic stop, police added.
Scheduled for a Nov. 4 preliminary hearing, Porch is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, which is a felony, and three drug-related misdemeanors, according to court records. He is free on an unsecured $7,500 bond, court records show.