Traffic stop nets pot, $13,000 cash

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Three men were arrested after 3 pounds of marijuana and $13,000 were found in a truck they occupied. The vehicle was pulled over after cutting off a marked police car, police said.

Trooper Ryan Parker said he found the large quantity of drugs and cash when he pulled over the driver, Jason Saint Onge Odea, 23, on Monday night.

After searching a 1998 Toyota Tacoma, owned by Odea's parents, Parker said he found three large bags of marijuana and almost $13,000 in cash in a backpack. The marijuana weighed just under 3 pounds and was divided into smaller baggies, he said. The bills ranged from $5 to $100. A pipe with burnt marijuana residue also was found in the vehicle, Parker said.

Odea, 23, of Steamboat Springs, Adam Daniel Gelbart, 24, of Steamboat Springs, and Lucas Merle English, 24, of Boulder, were arrested on suspicion of possession of 8 ounces or more of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The charges are felonies.

When interviewed by Parker, the men said they did not own the marijuana nor the money and did not know where it came from, Parker said.

Odea also was arrested on suspicion of driving while ability impaired by drugs and changing lanes in an unsafe manner.

The arrest happened about 10:50 p.m. Monday on U.S. Highway 40 near Trafalgar Drive. Odea changed lanes in front of Parker, causing Parker to slam on his brakes, Parker said.

Odea showed signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Parker said, and failed voluntary roadside maneuvers.

English, the front seat passenger, had a pill bottle containing marijuana, Parker said.

A search of the truck uncovered the backpack and a large waterproof bag containing the cash and Ziploc baggies of marijuana, Parker said.

All three men were released from the Routt County Jail on Tuesday. Odea posted a $5,000 bond and Gelbart and English were released on personal-recognizance bonds.

Odea and English go to school in Boulder and Gelbart just moved back to Colorado from Hawaii, Parker said.

The men said they were in Steamboat to visit their families for the holiday, Parker said.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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