Deputies find pot hidden in thermos during traffic stop

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YAVAPAI COUNTY - The following is a press release from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office:

On September 13, 2008, at approximately 10:30 A.M., a Yavapai County Sheriff's Office K9 Deputy stopped a rental truck for weaving in traffic. The driver identified himself as 31-year-old John Perona from Stockton, California. There were two passengers in the vehicle identified as 52-year-old James McGhee, and 50-year-old Tina McGhee, both from Summersville, Missouri.

The deputy explained the purpose of the traffic stop and his assignment regarding drug interdiction along the I40. After sharing the drug sensing qualifications of his K9 partner and his intent to allow the K9 to complete an exterior vehicle "sniff, " Perona admitted to possessing a small amount of "weed" which was stored in the vehicle.

During a search of the truck cab, deputies found three baggies and a cigarette box containing at least 40 marijuana joints (cigarettes) and numerous roaches (used marijuana cigarettes). In a backpack under the seat, deputies found additional marijuana, hashish oil and numerous drug paraphernalia items. On the rear floorboard of the cab, deputies found a drink container and removed the lid which exposed some fishing line. Pulling the line out of the container revealed an attached baggie containing over an ounce of marijuana. Additional marijuana was found in a suitcase belonging to Tina McGhee.

Perona admitted to owning the backpack and hash oil. James and Tina McGhee claimed ownership of the Thermos and its contents, and all three shared "joint" ownership of the remaining marijuana and paraphernalia.

Due to medical concerns involving Perona and his need to have James and Tina McGee assist with his care, deputies elected to seize the contraband and release the suspects at the scene pending filing of charges directly with the County Attorney. As a result, no booking photos will be available. Charges will include possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.