Driver arrested after hiding marijuana under car's spare tire

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The following is a press release from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office: SELIGMAN, Ariz. -- On October 9, 2008, at approximately 12:30 P.M., a Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputy and his K9 partner "Aros," stopped a red Colorado plated vehicle for equipment violations on the I40 and mile post 111, west of Seligman, Arizona.

The driver was identified as 29-year-old Colorado resident Raul Rodriguez, Jr. While discussing the traffic violations, Rodriguez was evasive and appeared unusually concerned about the traffic stop. After the deputy explained drug interdiction duties with his K9 partner "Aros," and his intent to let "Aros" conduct an exterior sniff of the vehicle, Rodriguez admitted to possessing marijuana. He told the deputy the marijuana was hidden in the center console area of the car. With Rodriguez seated outside the vehicle, the deputy completed a search of the console area and retrieved 1 gram of hashish, 3 grams of marijuana and a glass pipe.

While checking the trunk area, the deputy detected the odor of marijuana and saw Rodriguez react with concern by jumping to his feet and intently watching the search. At this time, deputies learned from Rodriguez he had marijuana hidden under the spare tire. Deputies lifted the tire and located two plastic bags which each contained marijuana. The marijuana in both bags weighed a total of just less than 2.5 pounds.

Rodriguez claimed he bought the marijuana using a California issued medical marijuana card from a "Cannabis Club" in Berkeley, California. Rodriguez paid six thousand dollars for the marijuana and planned to sell it in his Colorado hometown.

Rodriguez was arrested, transported to, and booked at the Prescott Detention Center on charges including Transportation of Marijuana for Sale, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.