NEW FOR FRIDAY: 350-Plus Pounds Of Pot Seized After Traffic Stop

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BERLIN — Local law enforcement officials this afternoon announced the arrest of a New Jersey man last week and the seizure of over 350 pounds of marijuana after a routine traffic stop evoking a seldom utilized Maryland law on Route 113 near Berlin.

Around 4:30 p.m. last Sunday, a Maryland State Police trooper in an unmarked car with its red and blue lights flashing was stopped on the shoulder along Route 113 just north of Germantown Rd. in Berlin. A Toyota Sienna, driven by Donald P. Gayle, 54, of New Brunswick, N.J., passed the trooper’s unmarked vehicle in the right lane, but failed to move over to the available middle lane in violation of a state law passed last year.

The trooper pulled the vehicle over and when contact was made with Gayle, the officer noticed a number of factors indicating criminal activity might be afoot. A Berlin Police officer in the area stopped to provide backup, while the MSP trooper called for a K-9 team to respond. The K-9 conducted a scan of the vehicle and gave a positive alert for the presence of drugs.

A probable cause search of the van revealed five large nylon bags, each containing three large cellophane-wrapped packages of suspected marijuana. The combined weight of the 15 packaged totaled over 350 pounds. Gayle was arrested and was being held on a $650,000 bond.

The Dispatch will have more on this story next week.

8 comments on “NEW FOR FRIDAY: 350-Plus Pounds Of Pot Seized After Traffic Stop

  1. interesting, in 2006 I was on Rt 50 in the right lane. I noticed a car on the shoulder with it’s hood and trunk open. There were a few cars behind me and several in the left lane approaching me. I chose not to slow and risk being rear ended. I accellerated and signaled to safely move out in front of the traffic in the left lane. Suddenly a trooper appears with a lazer gun and motions me over. I signaled, moved back to the right lane and pulled off the road about 1/4 mile from the trooper. He closed up the lids and droveup to me. When I expalined what I did, he said MD had not such law so that was not a valid excuse for exceeding the speed limit. We, PA is more advance d than MD, I expalined. He cited me for around $200. Can I get an apology and a refund?

  2. The “Move Over” law requiring motorists to slow down and move over to an adjacent lane when a law enforcement officer has his emergency equipment activated on the shoulder of the roadway did not become a law and go into effect in Maryland until October of 2010. Common sense would tell anyone accelerating past any vehicle on the shoulder, law enforcement or any other, it’s probably not the safest or brightest idea. Good luck with that apology.

  3. The law for which the vehicle in the article was stopped for was just passed recently and only applies to stopped emergency vehicles that are on the shoulder. The Trooper that stopped you that day was exactly correct. If one were to approach a potentially dangerous driving situation, common sense would dictate to reduce one’s speed. Not speed up. Based upon your idiotic comment and the overall quality of your comment, I would seriously question your assertion that PA is more advanced than MD.

  4. How have people managed to avoid learning how to read, in an era when almost all communication is via text?
    Maryland passed this law in 2012, you were there in 2006. What should they be apologizing for?

  5. It’s good that the officers did their jobs. But now it’s time to have a serious adult conversation about why Marijuana is illegal both on a state and federal level.

    Maryland farmers and the economy could benefit big time from this cash crop not only for medicinal reasons, but also the benefits it has for dietary purposes, as well as the creation of hemp by-products.

    Why don’t you guys make some money off this stuff much like you do with the insane county controlled liquor boards?

  6. Harley, this old guy was thinking the same thing. MD keeps uncovering rocks in hopes to find a penny – here a 350 lb gift that keeps on giving (so to speak). Its the 21st century where we need to start thinking differently.

    Warmer weather on the immediate horizon!! ~BUSHMAN!~

  7. Hey That Guy from PA. I used to commute to York from MD and knew of the ‘move over’ law. One morning there was a PA trooper on the right shoulder of I-83N with his blues on, so in advance I signaled and moved over into the left traffic lane per PA law. Well it turned out that traffic in the left lane was nearly stopped and I somehow skidded onto the left shoulder, brakes locked and tires squeeling and smoking. I somehow skidded past 2 stopped cars without hitting anything,on the left shoulder between them and the Jersey barrier, before finally stopping. I looked to my right and there was the PA trooper’s car with him running across I-83 telling me how much of a moron I was, and that poor guy almost got run over by traffic in the right travel lane that had not moved over. He said he would have written me a ticket for something but he had to go do other more important things (perhaps change his undies) as he headed back to his patrol car, again almost getting run down by another car while crossing the right lane. I don’t move over any more. Period.

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