A traffic stop in the northern part of Sampson County over the weekend left a driver and his passenger behind bars, facing a series of felony drug charges stemming from marijuana discovered in the vehicle.
Nicholas Edward Rodriguez, 29, 1810 Greensboro St., New Bern and Saman Tamburro Reaves, 29, 1209 Raleigh St., New Bern were arrested during the stop, made around 12:36 a.m. Saturday on U.S. 13 near Welcome School Road.
Rodriguez is charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, felony possession of marijuana, maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Reaves is charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both were jailed under separate $30,000 bonds and are expected to make first appearances in Sampson District Court Friday. The two remained behind bars Monday afternoon.
Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Pope said 364 grams of marijuana was seized at the time of the arrests.
The incident began when a Sampson Criminal Interdiction team member stopped a vehicle on U.S. 13 for a traffic violation in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
Pope said when the officer approached the Dodge vehicle he could smell a “strong odor” of marijuana coming from inside.
The two were asked to get out of the car while the officer searched it. That’s when the marijuana was discovered and the pair arrested.
“This is just another example of how vital traffic stops can be in the war on drugs,” Pope stressed.