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K-9 finds 34 pounds of marijuana in driver’s vehicle

Stephan A. Melfa, image from Galesburg PD

KNOXVILLE, Illinois — A man passing through Illinois on his way to Maryland was pulled over and busted for having 34 pounds of marijuana, according to a statement from the Knox County Sheriff’s Department.

Police said they originally pulled over 70-year-old Stephen A. Melfa for driving with no headlights on Saturday, March 11, 2017.  The traffic stop happened in the eastbound lanes of I-74 near mile marker 57, east of Knoxville.

According to the statement, during the traffic stop, deputies asked Melfa if they could search his trunk; Melfa said, “no.”  When asked if there was anything a K-9 would find, Melfa said, “no.”  When deputies told Melfa they were going to call a K-9 unit, Melfa said, “you got to do what you got to do officer.”

Police said the K-9 ended up alerting deputies to a duffel bag containing 25 bundles of sealed bags of cannabis and another bag with four sealed bags of cannabis. All of the marijuana combined weighed 34.2 pounds, and had a street value of $170,000.

Melfa was arrested and taken to the Knox County Jail, the statement said.  He was charged with cannabis trafficking and manufacturing/delivery of cannabis.