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Police seize $55K worth of marijuana; driver, passenger released on signature

Joseph M. Rutkowski, 34, and Miranda L. Rutkowski, 36, both of Marengo
Joseph M. Rutkowski, 34, and Miranda L. Rutkowski, 36, both of Marengo

SANDWICH – A Marengo couple were ordered to be released on their signatures from DeKalb County jail Wednesday after DeKalb County Sheriff's deputies say they found found six pounds of marijuana valued at more than $55,000 in their car Tuesday night during a traffic stop in Sandwich.

Joseph M. Rutkowski, 34, and Miranda L. Rutkowski, 36, both of the 500 block of Third Avenue, Marengo, have both been charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. Joseph Rutkowski is also charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and speeding. Possession of the amount of cannabis they're accused of having and intending to deliver is punishable by four to 15 years in prison.

A deputy stopped a vehicle just after 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of North Latham and Third streets for driving 45 mph in a 30-mph zone, according to a news release from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office.

While the first deputy was conducting the investigation for the traffic violation, a second deputy arrived with his K9 partner, Dallas. The K9 Unit identified the possible scent of narcotics in the vehicle, and the deputies executed a probable cause search of the vehicle, according to the release.

During the search, the deputies found seven packages of marijuana, several items of drug paraphernalia and cannabis oil typically used in electronic cigarettes in the SUV's rear cargo area.

Deputies seized their vehicle under the drug asset forfeiture act, according to the release. The marijuana's estimated street value is $55,320.

Judge Philip Montgomery ordered they be released on their signature. They're due back in court at 9 a.m. Feb. 2.

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