OCSO seize 19 pounds of marijuana during traffic stop

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ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WACH)-- The Orangeburg County Special Operations team was in the right place on Wednesday when they seized 19 pounds of marijuana.

According to Sheriff Leroy Ravenell, two Hilton Head men, Forest Bryan,25, and McKinley Johnson Jr.,29, were both charged with one count each of possession of a controlled substance, trafficking marijuana, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

"We had a team in the area assigned to a different task when we noticed a vehicle traveling erratically," the sheriff said. "When that vehicle was stopped for investigation, it was discovered to be carrying a suitcase of marijuana."

On Wednesday, an OCSO special ops team were sent to serve a warrant in the western part of the county.

After the team returned along Salley Road, just west of the Town of North, an officer noticed a white Dodge traveling behind the line of police vehicles weaving across the center line.

The last officer in line then pulled over which allowed for the suspicious vehicle to travel on. That officer then stopped the vehicle while the others in line circled back.

After noticing a strong smell of marijuana officers were told nothing illegal was inside of the car.

At that point, a K9 officer was brought up for deployment and a small amount of marijuana was found in the backseat.

Upon searching the vehicle, deputies located a suitcase in the trunk. The driver held his head down when asked if there was any marijuana inside the suitcase, according to the report.

When opened, deputies discovered 19 vacuum-packed bags of marijuana.

Investigators later learned that the men had paid $57,000 for the marijuana which estimated to be about $75,000 street value.

A handgun was also located inside of the car along with a quantity of pills, according to the warrant.

During a hearing on Thursday, bond was set at $50,000 cash or surety for both Bryan and Johnson.

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