At 11:15 am on Tuesday the 16th of March, the Indiana State Police were conducting a routine traffic stop in the northwest area. When one of the Police troopers spotted a white van that was violating a moving restriction, 50 miles in the southeast of Chicago by the town of Lowell, he stopped the vehicle to probe further.
Had it not been for the sharp-nosed dog by his side, the car would’ve gone off undetected. The man at the wheel of the van was 31-year-old Christopher S. Colburn from the small community of McKinleyville, California. A brief dialogue between the police officer and Colburn led to an exterior investigation of the vehicle, then a little sniff from the service dog prompted the officer to inquire about the contents inside the van.
Soon after, other troopers began searching the van and discovered 6 black plastic bags and 38 large boxes wrapped in black plastic wrap.
When the boxes were opened they revealed a total of 1,264 bags of individually sealed “green plant material”. They weighed 1.5 lbs and later field tests confirmed that the green plant was marijuana. Officers estimated the total street value of the bags to range between $5.7 to 8.5 million. Colburn was arrested on the spot and taken into custody.
He was first charged under a level 5 felony of handling marijuana, then a level 6 felony due to his previous convictions. Dogs have proved time and again that they are great deterrents for drug use and distribution because of their astounding ability to detect. Had this service pup not raised concern over the white van millions of dollars worth of marijuana would’ve been missed.
Images Source: Indiana State Police