Jan. 27—EAU CLAIRE — A traffic stop resulted in the discovery of five pounds of marijuana inside an Alma Center man's vehicle, authorities say.
Alex P. Strandberg, 24, was charged this week in Eau Claire County Court with felony counts of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and bail jumping, and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
A $2,000 cash bail was set for Strandberg, which requires him to maintain absolute sobriety.
Strandberg returns to court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.
According to the criminal complaint:
At 8 p.m. Monday, a state trooper saw a vehicle traveling just west of Eau Claire on Interstate 94 at a steady speed of 78 mph.
The driver quickly slowed to less than 65 mph when he saw the trooper's squad car. The trooper believed this was an indicator of criminal behavior. The vehicle also had a loud muffler.
The trooper activated his emergency lights and siren and pulled the vehicle over in the town of Union.
When the trooper approached the vehicle, he saw a vape pen in the center console and could smell a light odor of marijuana.
The driver was identified as Strandberg, and he was visibly shaking and sweating.
Strandberg admitted there was marijuana in the vape pen but that there was nothing else in the vehicle.
Strandberg said his life is going to be ruined because he had an open case that he had to stay clean for.
Strandberg was placed in the trooper's squad car while his vehicle was searched.
A black duffle bag was found inside the trunk. The bag contained three vacuum-sealed one-pound packages of marijuana. One of the packages was wrapped in a U.S. Postal Service bag.
The trunk also contained 18 marijuana vape pen cartridges and a large glass jar holding two pounds of marijuana butter.
Troopers seized Strandberg's phone, placed handcuffs on him and arrested him.
While at the Eau Claire County Jail, Strandberg told a trooper that "at least it's just marijuana and not hard drugs like cocaine, right?"
Strandberg has a pending 2020 felony drug possession case in Dunn County.
Strandberg also was convicted of a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana in August 2020 in Dunn County.
If convicted of the new felony charges, Strandberg could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison.