968 Lbs. of pot found during traffic stop

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

MESA, Ariz. – A Mesa man is facing a variety of charges after a traffic stop turned into a drug bust that kept nearly 1,000 pounds of pot off the streets.

It happened on July 21 in the area of Horne and Eighth Avenue. According to Detective Michael Melendez of the Mesa Police Department, a squad car stopped a white van because the driver failed to signal 100 feet before turning.

The driver, the only person in the van, told officers he did not have a driver license or any kind of identification. Officers arrested the man, who has since been identified as Christian Flores Bautista.

Melendez said caught the smell of marijuana as Bautista, 25, got out of the van. Because of that, they request a K9 officer. The drug-sniffing dog got a hit on the van which led to a search. Officers discovered 42 bales of marijuana – 968 pounds.

Melendez said Bautista refused to answer any questions after officers advised him of his rights.

Bautista is charged with possession of marijuana for sale, transport of marijuana for sale, driving on revoked license and failure to provide identification.