20.4 lbs of marijuana seized during stop


Two men are behind bars after Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies seized 20.4 lbs. of marijuana from them Wednesday night, January 22.

BCSO officials said 37-year-old Cecil Rice and 39-year-old Harvey Thompson, both from Austin, Texas, were driving a pickup truck on the I-10 westbound near mile marker 55 when they were pulled over for following too closely.

Officials said the two men gave officers conflicting stories about their destination, so officials asked to search their vehicle, but the men denied permission. Officials said a K-9 on scene sniffed out the pot.

Rice and Thompson were driving a rented white Ford F250 pickup truck at the time of the traffic stop. Apparently the marijuana was hidden underneath something in the bed of the truck, according to officials.

Officials said they found a large trash bag full of marijuana sealed in 1 lb. bags.

Captain Steve Arthur with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office says those bags points indicate these men had an intent to sell the drugs.

“It was obviously packaged for distribution,” Captain Arthur said, “We do believe they were selling at 1 lb. increments. It was packaged for sale and was ready to be shipped out to the streets of our community.”

Thompson and Rice were arrested on charges of drug trafficking and were taken to the Baldwin County Corrections Center.

Captain Arthur said officials are still investigating the bust, and are unsure of the marijuana’s origin.

“The individuals will not talk to us, they do not want to cooperate,” Arthur explained, “We know they were from Texas, but we don’t know where it was coming from. Usually, it’s coming eastbound, but this one was coming westbound so we don’t know.”

Meanwhile, some Baldwin County residents said they’re happy the drugs are off the street.

“I’m glad they caught at least,” said Kelsey Laughman, a Baldwin County resident, “that’s a lot that could be going to our teens and our youth and everything like that. We definitely need to think about that and they’re future.”

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