NE: I-80 stop yields drugs after defendant meets “Danger”

Quad-City Times –

A woman from the state of Washington appeared Tuesday in Henry County Circuit Court as a state trooper testified to finding 5 1/2 pounds of oxycodone pills and 1.8 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in the trunk of her vehicle.

Tammy L. Argle, 44, of Lake Stevens, Wash., is charged with the Class X felonies of methamphetamine trafficking, controlled substance trafficking, methamphetamine delivery, possession of methamphetamine, manufacture of 1,500-plus pills-ecstasy/analog and Class 1 felony possession of 1,500-plus pills, ecstasy/analog.

State Trooper Hayden Combs testified in Tuesday’s preliminary hearing that he made a traffic stop Jan. 13 on a vehicle on Interstate 80 for following a semitrailer too closely, and the vehicle stopped on the off ramp at milepost 19, blocking both the right- and left-hand turn lanes as the passenger got out and appeared to be getting back in the vehicle in the driver’s seat. Combs, however, told both the driver and passenger to take their original positions and move the car to an adjacent parking lot. As he was filling out a written warning, Geneseo Police Officer Jamison Weisser arrived with his K-9 and conducted a free-air sniff, and the dog alerted.

In the probable-cause search that ensued, officers found a roller-type suitcase with 5-1/2 pounds of blue pills with “M” on one side and “30” on the other, which was identified through “drugs.com” as oxycodone. They also found 1.8 pounds of what was believed to be crystal methamphetamine in a golf bag in the trunk and $7,500 in currency in a small leather zipper bag in the back seat. The drugs have been sent to the lab for further testing.

Combs said he wasn’t in on the interview with Argle, but he heard secondhand that she told officers she’d rented the vehicle in Washington with the other party and headed to see an individual that goes by a street name of “Danger” in Arizona. They took possession of the pills and were given $5,000 for travel expenses and were headed to Michigan to meet someone.

Judge James Cosby found probable cause to believe a felony had been committed, and a Feb. 18 pre-trial conference was set.

The co-defendant is Eric S. Marshall, 53, of Vicksburg, Mich., who will have a preliminary hearing on Feb. 1.

Argle remained in custody as of Tuesday on $750,000 bond, meaning she would need $75,000 for her release.

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