COEUR d'ALENE, Idaho -
A Washington state man faces felony marijuana trafficking charges after an officer found 3.3 pounds of marijuana wrapped up as Christmas gifts during a traffic stop in northern Idaho.
Jason D. Palmer, 36, of Springdale, Wash., was arrested as he returned from a trip to Montana, where he had been visiting family, the Coeur d'Alene Press reported yesterday.
Kootenai County sheriff's officials said that Palmer was stopped east of Coeur d'Alene because his vehicle was repeatedly changing lanes and following other drivers too closely. The officer said that he smelled marijuana as he approached the vehicle.
"When I made contact at the window, the odor increased its potency," the deputy wrote in his report.
Palmer told the officer that he was a medical-marijuana cardholder and had a small amount of "medicine" in the vehicle.
"I asked him what was in the presents and he stated some 'sweaters,' " the deputy wrote.
A drug-sniffing dog indicated the packages contained drugs and officers opened them, court records said.
Deputies also seized $800 in cash that Palmer had with him. Palmer's 12- and 14-year-old sons were in the vehicle with him.