PORTAGE | A Liberty Township man was arrested Sunday afternoon when police found over 600 grams of a raspberry-scented synthetic marijuana in his car following a traffic stop.
Nicholas Ramirez, 26, of 1602 Loveland Court, was stopped by police at 3:25 p.m. Sunday when he allegedly sped by an officer running radar on Swanson Road.
Ramirez was initially issued citations for speeding and not wearing a seat belt. He was also driving on a suspended license and was arrested.
According to the report, the officer detected a strong smell of raspberry when he began to inventory Ramirez's vehicle. The officer found what looked like marijuana, but was giving off the raspberry scent, in a car tray. He also found a black plastic bag imprinted with "Legal Empyre" on it. The package advised the content was to be used for aroma purposes and not for human consumption, said the report.
As police continued to inventory the car, the officer found a partially burnt hand-rolled cigarette that contained the same material. He also looked in the car's glove box and found four pages of information from the National Council of State Legislatures addressing synthetic cannabinoids.
Upon further search, several other "Legal Empyre" bags were found. In the back seat a gym bag was found containing a black garbage bag with what later was measured at 574 grams of the material. Eight other full "Legal Empyre" bags also were found, containing 43 grams of material, along with two scales and shot-type plastic cups with residue of the material.
When Ramirez was booked into Porter County Jail, they also found two pills, identified as Vicodin, in his pocket along with $845 in cash.
Ramirez was charged with possession of a narcotic drug, possession of synthetic cannabinoids, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while suspended.