K9 sniffs out $500,000 in marijuana during traffic stop

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54 pounds of pot sniffed out by K-9 during routine traffic stop

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

On November 21, 2008, at approximately 11 A.M., a Yavapai County Sheriff's Office K9 deputy stopped a gold Lexus sedan for speeding and failure to display a rear plate on the I40, west of Seligman, Arizona. The driver, identified as 31-year-old Matthew Lengal, told the deputy he was traveling from Los Angeles to his home state of New Mexico intending to visit family. During a conversation about the K9 drug interdiction program, Lengal denied possessing narcotics even though he remained obviously nervous about the topic.

K9 "Elliot" was allowed an exterior sniff of the vehicle and quickly alerted to the trunk area of the Lexus. With Lengal detained, the K9 deputy checked the trunk and found five large trash bags containing marijuana buds stored inside smaller clear bags. A search of the passenger compartment revealed over 32 grams of marijuana and several drug paraphernalia items. Inside Lengal's wallet was a pay and owe sheet involving drug transactions including documented sales of over $140,000 dollars.

The total weight of marijuana buds found in the trunk came to 54 pounds. The estimated street value of such high grade marijuana at this total weight is approximately $500,000 dollars.

Lengal was arrested and booked at the Prescott Detention Center for Transportation of Marijuana for Sale, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Possession of a Narcotic Drug, Hashish.