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

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

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.