LEWISTON — A Massachusetts man remained in jail Sunday night on $20,000 cash bond after a traffic stop earlier that day led to the discovery of 20 pound of marijuana in his truck.
Mark D. Lyons, 53, of 27 Central Ave., Braintree, Mass., was charged Sunday afternoon with unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs after his suspicious actions drew the attention of a Lewiston police officer.
Lewiston police Lt. Marc Robitaille said Lyons was finally stopped at mile marker 78 on Interstate 95 south, but had caught the attention of officer Matt Vierling minutes earlier on Alfred Plourde Parkway.
Robitaille said that Vierling was parked on the side of Alfred Plourde Parkway following an unrelated traffic stop, when Lyons, who was traveling toward the southbound ramp of Interstate 95, suddenly stopped in the middle of the road and refused to drive past the stopped police officer even when motioned to do so by Vierling.
"It appeared Lyons didn't want him (Vierling) to get behind him," Robitaille said.
Robitaille said Vierling reported in his affidavit that he found Lyons' actions suspicious and decided to follow him. The officer noted that Lyons swerved several times and seemed to be reaching over to the passenger side of the vehicle several times.
Robitaille said that Vierling followed Lyons onto the southbound interstate, where Lyons continued to swerve between the lanes and reach over to the passenger side. Vierling then pulled him over.
During the routine stop, Robitaille said that Vierling noted a strong odor of marijuana in the vehicle. Lyons showed him a marijuana cigarette he had hidden in the cab of the truck, but Vierling, a former drug agent, thought there was something more to the story and asked to search the vehicle.
Lyons consented, and Lewiston police officer Todd Macwhinnie, who assisted in the search, discovered the marijuana in the bed of the truck Lyons was driving.
Robitaille said more than $2,000 cash was also found in the cab of the truck.
"I just want to give kudos to Matt," Robitaille said. "It was a really good stop."