Like many minivans, the Chrysler Town & Country boasts a lot of interior cargo space. The 2016 model offered nearly 144 cubic feet.
Plenty of room, apparently, for a California man who police say was driving through Maryland this month with at least 250 pounds of marijuana in the back. For reasons not immediately clear, the man also was driving at what police say was excessive speed on Interstate 270.
On Tuesday, Montgomery County police announced the result of their ensuing traffic stop: drug trafficking charges against Steven M. Tosi, 53, of Santa Cruz, Calif. Officials said they found the marijuana bundled in vacuum-sealed bags.
The arrest unfolded just before 2:30 p.m. Dec. 5, when a Montgomery officer was using a laser to try to catch speeders on southbound I-270 near the Clarksburg Road exit. A black Town & Country passed him at 66 mph in a 55 mph zone, he later said.
The officer pulled over the minivan.
When he got near an open passenger window, according to the officer’s affidavit, he smelled fresh marijuana.
The officer asked the driver about the odor. Tosi told him he had just smoked a joint, according to the affidavit.
The officer then informed Tosi that the minivan was about to be searched, asking whether police might find anything besides the joint.
One hundred pounds of marijuana, Tosi answered, according the affidavit.
The officer said they found more — “at least 250 pounds,” he wrote.
Later, in custody, Tosi told police he has picked up the marijuana in Pittsburgh and was trying to take it to Virginia Beach, according to police arrest records. The minivan turned out to be a rental.
Court records do not show whether Tosi has retained an attorney. He is in the Montgomery jail on no-bond status, according to court records, and is due in court again on Friday.