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Police search of car leads to drug charges against men

A police search of a Pittsburgh-area man's car during a traffic stop early on Jan. 11 led to criminal charges against the man and his passenger. The men face an array of charges, including possession of marijuana and Xanax.

The events that led to the men's arrest began when Allegheny County sheriff's deputies pulled over a car on the Parkway East between Uptown and Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh. The deputies stopped the car for allegedly driving erratically.

Upon approaching the vehicle, the deputies allegedly saw that the driver and his passenger had glassy eyes. While talking, their speech seemed affected, the deputies claimed. One of the men said later that his speech was permanently affected by a bullet wound to his mouth. While questioning the two, the deputies spotted a bag in the car's cupholder. The bag appeared to contain white pills.

That led the deputies to conduct a search of the car. The search reportedly turned up a "large amount" of marijuana, an undisclosed amount of generic Xanax pills and cash. Both men denied ownership or knowledge of the pills. The driver said he did not think he had anything illegal in his vehicle.

The deputies arrested the men and took the driver to a nearby hospital for a blood test. They were taken to jail, where they spent almost 24 hours before their arraignment. The driver, 19, was charged with drug possession, possession with intent to distribute, DUI, careless driving and prohibited acts. The passenger was charged with drug possession and prohibited acts. The judge then released the defendants on nonmonetary bond.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Two arrested on drug charges after traffic stop on parkway," Liz Navratil, Jan. 12, 2012

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