Crime - Sacto 911

Dryer sheets couldn’t cover up the smell of 120 pounds of pot, police say

A routine traffic stop on an Indiana highway turned into a massive drug bust when an Elk Grove man was caught allegedly trafficking more than 100 pounds of marijuana.

Tong Pan, 43, was driving a Toyota minivan on Interstate 70 through Greenfield when he was pulled over by Indiana State Police at 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, FOX59 reported. The responding trooper smelled a strong odor of marijuana and dryer sheets – often used to cover up the drug’s pungent scent – coming from the vehicle.

Pan and his passenger, 52-year-old Liandi Zhang of Virginia, told the officer they were road tripping from coast to coast, but something about their story didn’t sit right. A search of the minivan turned up approximately 120 pounds of marijuana packed in several shrink-wrapped containers.

Possession of more than 10 pounds of marijuana is considered a felony under Indiana state law and can land dealers in jail for up to six years, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Pan and Zhang remained in Marion County jail without bail as of 12:45 p.m. Wednesday on charges of possession and dealing of marijuana. Their next court appearance is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. Thursday.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel