55 Pounds of Pot, $121,860 Seized – September 22, 2010
McKINLEYVILLE – Ian Charles Mason, 34, of Jamul, Calif., ought to have paid attention to all those boring scoldings from law enforcement about distracted driving – specifically, not jabbering on your cell phone while behind the wheel. If he had, he’d probably still have his $121,860 cash stash, not to mention be able to roll a 55-pound fatty. And he wouldn’t have to go to traffic school, either.
But, as fate would have it, on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 5:13 p.m., California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer M. Campbell observed Mason talking on his cell phone, a violation of California Vehicle Code section 23123(A), while driving his 2009 Dodge Ram 2500 on School Road near Betty Court in McKinleyville. A traffic stop was made.
Mason displayed “objective signs of alcohol intoxication” and was subsequently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. That turned out to be the least of his problems.
While conducting an inventory of the vehicle contents, six large plastic garbage bags were located in the bed of the truck. The garbage bags contained approximately 55 pounds of processed marijuana packaged in one-pound smaller bags.
The Humboldt County Drug Task Force (HCDTF) was notified and responded to the scene. Officers then located $121,860.00 in cash concealed under the rear seat of the Dodge. The cash and Dodge were seized by the HCDTF for asset forfeiture.
Mason was booked into the Humboldt County Jail on charges of 23152(A) VC- DUI, 23152(B) VC – DUI over .08%, 11359 H&S – Procession of Marijuana for sales, 11360(A) H&S – Transportation of Marijuana for sale.