A police vehicle is seen in a side mirrorAfter getting a whiff of a vehicle during a traffic stop, a Kingston Police officer knew there was something more going on than just an illegal licence plate.

Const. Steve Koopman, media relations with Kingston Police, told the Whig-Standard on Thursday that at approximately 2:25 p.m. on Wednesday, a general patrol officer was near the intersection of Fergus Street and First Avenue.

“Police observed a Pontiac G6 with an Ontario licence plate, but when the plate was ran it came back to another vehicle,” Koopman said.

The officer observed the parked vehicle for a short time before a man entered it at approximately 2:45 p.m. and drove it away, westbound on First Avenue. The officer followed the vehicle as it turned onto Victoria Street before stopping it at North Bartlett Street.

As the officer exited his cruiser, the man attempted to leave his vehicle, acknowledging to officers the improper licence plates.

“(The man) was wanting to seem to get away from the vehicle, stating he needed to get to work,” Koopman said. “The officer advised him to return to the vehicle, and when he did, the male was trying to talk about the possible Highway Traffic Act violations. But as soon as the officer approached the vehicle, he detected an overwhelming odour of fresh marijuana emanating from the vehicle.”

Koopman said the driver appeared to be very nervous and didn’t want to roll down his window all the way. As a result of the driver’s actions, his eagerness to talk about the Highway Traffic Act violations, and the strong odour of marijuana, the officer formed grounds to believe the man was in possession of marijuana.

The man was arrested at the scene and an investigation ensued. Opening the trunk of the Pontiac, the officer found what officers believed to be a total of 583 grams of marijuana, 425 grams of cocaine and 116 tablets of MDMA (ecstasy). Officers also found $400 in Canadian currency. In addition to the illicit drugs, police seized the Pontiac, which was registered to the man, and it was towed to Kingston Police Headquarters for further assessment.

Paul L. Bridgen, 25, of Kingston was arrested and charged by police with three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one count of possession of proceeds obtained by crime, as well as Highway Traffic Act offences of using a licence plate not authorized, driving a motor vehicle without a driver’s licence, and operating a vehicle with no insurance. He attended a bail hearing Thursday and was remanded into custody until next Monday.

Source: The Whig-Standard