Dealer Of Gift Wrapped Pot Sentenced

SNOW HILL — A New York man, arrested following a traffic stop in Berlin in late December when over 10 pounds of marijuana were found in his vehicle wrapped in several holiday gift-wrapped packages, pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to four years, all but 18 months of which was then suspended.

At around 10:50 a.m. last Dec. 28, a Maryland State Police trooper stopped a 2013 Lexus R35 on Route 113 at Main Street in Berlin. The senior trooper made contact with the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, identified as Changhyun Daniel Lee, 39, of Fresh Meadows, N.Y. During the initial contact, the trooper noted Lee was shaking uncontrollably and told the officer he did not know the owner of the vehicle and also exhibited other indications criminal activity might be afoot.

The trooper continued the business of the initial traffic stop and requested the assistance of another MSP trooper. The second trooper arrived and conducted a roadside interview with Lee, who allegedly continued to exhibit a host of criminal activity indicators, according to police reports. A K-9 scan was ordered utilizing K-9 Camo, resulting in a positive result.

The subsequent search resulted in the discovery of a smoking pipe containing crystal meth and a digital scale containing crystal meth in the passenger compartment. A search of the cargo area revealed a lone wrapped gift package and a duffle bag containing four wrapped gift packages. Inside each gift-wrapped package were two heat-sealed food saver bags containing high-grade marijuana.

During the processing of the controlled dangerous substances, the total weight of the marijuana was found to be 10.65 pounds with an estimated street value of $95,000 and an estimated bulk value of $24,500. The methamphetamine turned out to be 3.52 grams with a street value of over $700.

Lee was charged with six felony counts including possession with intent to distribute.

On Wednesday, Lee pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He was sentenced to four years in jail, all but 18 months of which were then suspended. Lee was also placed on probation for three years and was fined $1,000.