Warwick, RI — Officer Aaron Steere stopped a white 2014 Toyota Camry with PA plates traveling between 65 and 70 mph in the 55 mph zone near exit 9 on Rte. 95 after it failed to yield to traffic attempting to pass, then arrested the driver for possession of $400 worth of marijuana.
Steere, who was in a marked K9 cruiser, spoke to the driver after the stop, identifying him as Benjamin Delacruz, 28, of 46 Waverly St., Providence, Apt. 46. Steere informed him of the reason for the stop, and Delacruz said he was unaware he was obligated to yield to traffic in the high speed lane, according to the report.
Steere also informed Delacruz that the speed limit in that section of Rte. 95 is 55 mph, and the driver said he’s thought the speed limit was 65 mph, the officer reported.
Steere questioned the driver further, learning the man had rented the car, and had been traveling. When asked where he’d been, Delacruz was only able to provide Exit 6 in Coventry as the location. Steere became suspicious at this point, according to his report, since Exits 5 and 6 off Rte. 95 are common places for “narcotics transactions.”
A background check on Delacruz revealed he’d been charged by Providence Police with possession with intent to deliver cocaine several times. A check of his rental agreement and the odometer showed he’d traveled 320 miles since picking up the vehicle Oct. 23.
Steere asked Delacruz to get out of the vehicle, and brought out his K9 partner, Viking, to search the car. Viking pulled a backpack out of the rear of the vehicle, signaling that it contained drugs by clawing and biting at the pack. Steere put Viking back in the cruiser, and checked the bag, finding a large amount of marijuana inside a heat sealed bag within a tupperware container that had been taped shut, Steere reported.
The weight of the marijuana was 118 grams, or .26 lbs, over the legal limit of marijuana possession of 28 grams. The marijuana was worth $400 according to the report.
Steere arrested Delacruz, charging him with possession of marijuana. Steere also issued him a speeding ticket of $95, and transported him to Kent County Courthouse, since the possession charge violated his parole. He posted bail on Oct. 29.
Delacruz was scheduled for a pre-trial conference in Third District Court Nov. 18.
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