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Bethlehem Man Busted for Marijuana in Hellertown

1.6 pounds found in his car may have set a borough record

A Bethlehem man was arrested in Hellertown Sunday night after police found more than a pound-and-a-half of marijuana in his car during a traffic stop.

"I think that's the largest weight of marijuana that we've ever seized at one time," said Hellertown Police Chief Robert Shupp, who announced the bust at Monday night's borough council meeting.

The bust occurred after officer John Donato stopped a black Honda Prelude driven by Justin Michael Eliason, 23, in the 1700 block of Main Street.

Donato stopped Eliason for a traffic offense and was subsequently given permission to search his vehicle. That search resulted in the discovery of 1.6 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $10,000, Shupp said.

"I thought that was a real good job," Shupp said of Donato's police work.

Mayor Richard Fluck, who oversees the police department, said that the amount of marijuana seized was so great that its smell was noticeable upon entering the police station, where it had to be temporarily stored.

"I walked into the headquarters and it just smelled like skunk. It was the marijuana," Fluck said.

Eliason, whose address is 814 West Broad St., Bethlehem, was arraigned in front of District Magistrate John Capobianco and committed to Northampton County Prison on $7,500 bail following his arrest.

Eliason is charged with possession with intent to deliver.

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