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East Chicago police recovered $182,000 worth of marijuana during a traffic stop Monday, according to a news release.

EAST CHICAGO — A traffic stop in the city's North Harbor section yielded more than $182,000 worth of marijuana and the arrest of the driver Monday. 

A patrol officer stopped Darnell Anderson Jr., 25, of East Chicago, in his vehicle at about 3:30 p.m. in the 3500 block of Guthrie Street, according to East Chicago police Lt. Marguerite Wilder.  

Wilder said Anderson allegedly gave the officer permission to search his vehicle, revealing a "large quantity" of a green leafy substance that later tested positive for marijuana. 

A K-9 named Mitt was requested to the traffic location to conduct a "free air sniff" around a second parked vehicle Anderson was seen exiting prior to the traffic stop, Wilder said in an email.

The K-9 indicated the presence of illegal narcotics inside the vehicle, she said.

A search warrant resulted in the recovery of 215 pounds of suspected marijuana with an estimated street value of $182,000.

The marijuana was allegedly packaged in 73 air-sealed, zip-close freezer bags contained in eight boxes in the vehicle. 

Anderson was placed under arrest on preliminary charges of marijuana possession and transported to the East Chicago police station's detention area for further investigation.

In a news release, East Chicago Police Chief Frank Smith thanked the patrol officers involved "in a job well done."

Wilder said formal charges are pending.

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Northlake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.