Traffic stop near DeLand nets 15 pounds of pot

A routine traffic stop resulted in the arrest of four people and seizure of 15 pounds of marijuana after a Volusia County sheriff’s deputy smelled burning pot, a sheriff’s spokesman said Monday. The traffic stop early Sunday near DeLand of a 2003 Cadillac Escalade turned up the marijuana and a loaded 9mm handgun, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office. Two young children in the SUV weren’t in child restraints, said sheriff’s spokesman Gary Davidson.

Deputies pulled over the Escalade at 12:32 a.m. Sunday near West Euclid Avenue and South Spring Garden Avenue, just west of DeLand. A deputy became suspicious when he smelled marijuana. A search of the vehicle first turned up about a pound of marijuana in a plastic bag on the floor in the front of the vehicle. In the rear passenger area, deputies found a pillow case with 14 plastic bags, each containing about a pound of marijuana, Davidson said.

Deputies also located the loaded gun and some more marijuana, totaling about 31 grams. All totaled, the seized marijuana had an approximate street value of $22,500, the statement said. Three of the passengers, 27-year-old Adrian Menchaca, 19-year-old Jennifer Speece and 28-year-old Jose Torres-Trevino, were all charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and two counts of child neglect. They were booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail and each held on $14,000 bail. Menchaca was still being held Monday while Speece and Torres-Trevino posted bail.

A fourth passenger, Janette Palomares, was charged with a narcotics offense and two counts of child neglect and then released at the scene with a notice to appear in court, officials said. All four defendants listed addresses in Wimauma, on the west coast of Florida.

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