Montoursville traffic stop leads to drug charges

Lycoming County Prison inmate Brandon Robert Love, taken into custody last week on a probation violation, was arraigned Tuesday, his 19th birthday, on charges of having 15 grams of marijuana in his vehicle when Montoursville police stopped him for speeding on Interstate 180 in the borough during the early morning hours of March 25.

Riding with Love in his 2011 Hyandai was a 17-year-old city boy who had on him 421 packets of heroin, Patrolman Kurt Hockman said in an affidavit.

Love was traveling at 80 mph in a 55-mph speed zone when he was stopped about 1:15 a.m., Hockman said.

Love told Hockman that he and the teen, along with two other passengers who were riding in the back seat, were “returning home from a day trip in Philadelphia,” according to the affidavit.

“I was able to smell an odor of raw marijuana coming from inside the vehicle,” Hockman said. The officer also spotted “a marijuana grinder.”

Already on probation for a drug conviction, Love was jailed on a probation violation. The 17-year-old, who is on juvenile probation, was placed in the juvenile detection in Wellsboro. The car was impounded and later searched after Hockman obtained a search warrant. From the vehicle, police seized 15 grams of marijuana already packaged and ready for sale, an airsoft pistol, 11 cellphones and assortment of drug paraphernalia.

Love was arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Gary A. Whiteman on charges of possession with intent to deliver marijuana, corrupting the morals of a minor and speeding. He was recommitted in lieu of $50,000 bail.

The 17-year-old is expected to be petitioned into juvenile court on a charge of possession with intent to deliver heroin, police said, adding that the estimated street value of the heroin seized was about $4,500.