The Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack displays nearly 350 pounds of marijuana seized in Worcester County during a traffic stop. (Photo: WBOC)
Donald P. Gayle
BERLIN, Md.- Maryland State Police say a recent traffic stop in Worcester County led to the seizure of more than 350 pounds of marijuana and the arrest of the driver accused of transporting it.
Fifty-four-year-old Donald P. Gayle, 54, of New Brunswick, N.J., is charged with importation of a controlled dangerous substance into the state, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, and possession of marijuana.
According to police, Gayle's arrest stemmed from an investigation that began shortly before 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 30 when a trooper from the Berlin Barrack was on the slow shoulder of southbound Route 113, north of Germantown Road, near Berlin. Police said he was stopped in his unmarked patrol vehicle, but had his emergency red and blue lights activated, which were visible to passing traffic.
Investigators said the trooper observed a Toyota Sienna van pass his patrol car and fail to move over into an available lane, which is a violation of the state's "move over" law. The trooper stopped the van for the violation on southbound Route 113 south of Germantown Road.
Police said that during contact with the driver and the van's sole occupant, later identified as Gayle, the trooper became suspicious about possible criminal activity that may have been under way. A Berlin Police Department officer who was nearby stopped as a backup, while the trooper called for a State Police drug dog team to respond.
According to police, a trooper and drug dog responded and conducted a canine scan. The drug dog gave a positive alert for the presence of drugs, investigators said.
Troopers said a search of the van resulted in the recovery of five large nylon duffel bags, which each contained three large cellophane wrapped packages of suspected marijuana. The combined weight of the 15 packages of marijuana was more than 350 pounds, investigators said.
After Gayle was taken into custody on the aforementioned charges, he was ordered held in the Worcester County Detention Center on $650,000 bond.
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