Cops: Men had 12 pounds of pot in car

2014-04-30T12:37:00Z 2014-04-30T23:29:03Z Cops: Men had 12 pounds of pot in carJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | Two Ohio men were charged with felony possession of marijuana with the intent to deal after Portage police found 12 pounds of raw marijuana in their car following a traffic stop last week.

According to a police report, Cpl. James Eagan was patrolling the Indiana Toll Road on a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area detail April 22 when he spotted a 2014 Ford Flex speeding near the 23 mile marker.

When he pulled the vehicle over, driver Michael D. Sabia Jr., 31, and passenger Carl L. Herman, 33, both of Massillon, Ohio, acted nervously and continued eating sandwiches as they were questioned.

Eagan called for backup because of what he described as unusual behavior.

During questioning, Sabia told police that Herman had a marijuana cigarette in his possession. Herman denied the allegation at first, but police found a marijuana cigarette sealed in a cellophane wrapper inside a cellphone case.

Police again asked Sabia if there were any other illegal drugs in the vehicle and asked to search the vehicle. Eagan had called for a police K-9 unit to conduct the search.

Sabia allegedly told the police there were "pounds, under the suitcase."

Police found in the rear of the vehicle two bags, each containing five bags of raw marijuana. The total weight was 12 pounds.

Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said the marijuana has a street value of $40,000 to $45,000.

Master Patrolman Rich Schmitt and his K-9, Chuckie, arrived. Chuckie searched the vehicle, alerting to the bags in the back of the vehicle.

During the incident, Herman allegedly pulled away from an officer who was holding his upper arm as he was walked into the police station and was additionally charged with resisting law enforcement.

Both men were transported to Porter County Jail.

"The ability to intercept illegal drug activity is vital to combating this issue," said Williams, who praised the officers for their work. "If we are all able to make even a small dent then we have served our profession well."

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