Chesterton Tribune



Police seize $56K marijuana in I94 stop

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Valparaiso Police confiscated more than $50,000 in cash on Tuesday, following a HIDTA traffic stop on I-94.

Taken into custody and charged with possession of marijuana were Jean Marie Peek, 26, of Flint, Mich., and Yong Sok Padgett, 66, of Grand Blanc, Mich, police said.

According to police, on Tuesday afternoon VPD Officer Jason Hamilton was tasked to a drug interdiction operation when he stopped Peek for speeding in the westbound lanes of I-94 near Ind. 49. Peek was later found to be driving on a suspended license, police said.

Meanwhile, Peek and her passenger, Padgett, offered Hamilton inconsistent statements regarding their travel plans and Chesterton Police Officer Erik Herbert and his K-9 partner, Kahr, were dispatched to the scene, where Kahr subsequently alerted to the vehicle, police said.

“A search of the vehicle located marijuana and over $56,000 in U.S. currency hidden inside a pillow,” police said.

Peek and Padgett were transported to the Porter County Jail and the currency was seized.

The VPD, CPD, Portage Police Department, and Porter County Sheriff’s Police all conduct drug interdiction operations along I-94 and the Indiana Toll Road and have been doing so since late 2011, after Porter County joined Lake County’s federal designated High Intensity Drug Traffiking Area. The designation makes federal funds and resources available for targeted patrols.