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I-40 TRAFFIC STOP NETS NEARLY TWO AND A HALF POUNDS OF POT

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Cumberland County deputies conducted a traffic stop on a car at mile marker 317 on Interstate 40 Westbound last week for inoperable taillights. When asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle, the driver and passenger said there was not. Deputies noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car. After asking the driver to step outside, they asked again about anything in the vehicle; 21-year-old Jamal Deandre Hawkins of Madison admitted there was a firearm on the driver’s-side floorboard.

Hawkins was advised that, based on the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle, deputies would need to conduct a search.

They located the firearm, a Glock 31, where Hawkins said it would be. They also found a Smith & Wesson .38 Special – which Hawkins and his passenger, 22-year-old Melvyn Romello Wells of Nashville, both denied knowing about.

A backpack in the back seat was found to contain two vacuum-sealed bags of pot weighing a total of 2 pounds 6.1 ounces. Hawkins admitted the backpack and its contents belonged to him.

During the search, deputies also seized $2,403 in U.S. currency from Hawkins.

A glass jar with a small amount of pot was found hidden in the crotch area of Wells’ pants.

Hawkins was charged with manufacture, sale, delivery or possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm while committing a felony. He was placed under $90,000 bond.

Wells was charged with simple possession; he was placed under $4,000 bond. Both are due in court April 8.

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