Tuesday, February 24, 2009
INDEPENDENCE -- A Salem man was arrested on Feb. 20 when police discovered a significant quantity of cocaine and thousands of dollars in cash during a traffic stop, officials said.
Independence officers pulled over Alex Garzon Park, 36, near the intersection of C and 2nd streets at about 4 p.m. for not wearing a seat belt, officials said.
The officer eventually searched Park's Ford Explorer and found 10 grams of cocaine, $10,000 in bills of different denominations and several baggies that Park initially claimed were used for picking up his dog's poop, officials said.
Park was charged with unlawful possession of cocaine, unlawful manufacture of cocaine less than 1,000 feet from a school, and unlawful delivery of cocaine less than 1,000 feet from a school.
The Polk Interagency Narcotics Team (POINT) had also planned to secure a warrant to further inspect the vehicle as it's believed to have been altered to hide drugs, officials said.
Park was stopped less than two blocks east of Independence Elementary School.
Police made another unrelated drug arrest -- involving an marijuana grow operation -- in the vicinity of the school five days earlier.