Cloverdale traffic stop leads to huge pot find, arrest of Oakland man

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A California Highway Patrol officer got a whopping understatement for an answer Tuesday when he asked a driver pulled over for speeding in Cloverdale about the strong smell of marijuana wafting from the vehicle, authorities said.

Asked about the skunky odor, the driver of the Suburu Legacy suggested it could be the scent coming from a single joint, authorities said.

In a subsequent search of the car, however, officers found vacuum-sealed packages holding a total of 225 pounds of marijuana — one of the largest single pot seizures made by the CHP on the North Coast in recent years, according to Officer Jon Sloat.

The bust comes as the outdoor marijuana harvest is at its peak, as are efforts by law enforcement to stop people transporting illegal amounts of pot from the famed Emerald Triangle — Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties — through Sonoma County, Sloat said.

“This is definitely the height of getting the product from where it’s grown to where it’s distributed,” Sloat said.

The Suburu driver, Brett Lee Wilson, 31, of Oakland, was stopped about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday on Highway 101 after a CHP officer saw him speeding by at about 75 mph, the CHP said.

As the officer walked up to the vehicle he could smell an odor of marijuana and asked the driver if he had any in his possession. The driver said he might have one joint in the car, Sloat said.

Another officer arrived with a dog trained in finding drugs and the dog quickly indicated there was something in the car.

The sealed packages of pot were found inside the vehicle’s trunk, the CHP said.

Wilson told the officers he was heading home after spending time in Eureka, Sloat said.

He was arrested on suspicion of possessing and transporting marijuana to sell and taken to Sonoma County Jail.

Wilson bailed out of the jail Wednesday morning, according to jail records.

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