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Routine traffic stop leads to arrest of two Californians on drug charges

Helper police department's K-9 Officer Brook guards the suspected marijuana, American currency and suspected psilocybin-laced mushrooms seized by law enforcement at the scene of a routine traffic stop Oct. 17 on U.S. Highway 6. Helper police arrested two California suspects in connection with the incident.

After a routine traffic stop on Oct. 17, Helper police took two subjects into custody on unlawful possession of controlled substance charges.

At approximately 2 a.m. last Monday, Officer Lynn Archuleta conducted a traffic stop for an alleged speeding traffic violation in south Helper on U.S. Highway 6.

Helper Police Chief George Zamantakis said the officer made contact with the occupants of the vehicle, which led to a consent search being granted.

A trained police dog, K-9 Officer Brook, was subsequently deployed inside the suspect vehicle.

The dog purportedly gave a positive identification for the odor of narcotics by the gear shifter and center console, explained Zamantakis.

Further search of the suspect vehicle reportedly led to the location of 1.2 ounces of suspected mushrooms, 15 grams of suspected marijuana and $4,590 in United States currency, confirmed the Helper police chief.

The items were confiscated by the law enforcement officers and booked into evidence.

The driver of the suspect vehicle was a 20-year-old California resident identified as Martin J. Warchal.

The passenger traveling inside the vehicle as an 18-year-old California resident was identified as Mark B. Famularo.

Police arrested Warchal on the initial count of speeding.

In addition, both of the individuals were arrested and booked into the Carbon County Jail on two charges.

The charges included unlawful possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone and possession of mushrooms containing psilocybin in a drug-free zone.

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