Marijuana concealed in detergent boxes

Published 12:40 pm Thursday, January 13, 2005

By Staff
ST. JOSEPH - Two Illinois residents were arrested on drug charges Monday on I-94 after a traffic stop by the Berrien County Sheriff's Office. Deputy John Hopkins was patrolling in Lake Township when he observed a westbound vehicle commit a traffic violation. When Hopkins stopped the vehicle, he detected a strong odor of marijuana from inside.
When Hopkins questioned the occupants about the marijuana odor, the female passenger, Zakiyyah Orlandre Cheers, 27, of 3721 171st St., Country Club Hills, Ill., produced a small bag of marijuana and gave it to the deputy.
Hopkins arrested Cheers. With the consent of driver Erik Courtney Lockhart, 23, of 2646 Martha Place, Burnham, Ill., the officer searched the vehicle for additional drugs.
Hopkins detected the strong odor of marijuana coming from two large Trend laundry detergent boxes in the trunk. The boxes appeared unopened, but on closer examination were found to have been opened and resealed from the bottom.
Hopkins opened the boxes and found one-pound packages of marijuana with a reported street value of $2,000.
Lockhart and Cheers were both lodged in the Berrien County Jail pending arraignment. Lockhart faced two charges: possessing marijuana with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug vehicle. Cheers was being charged with possessing marijuana with intent to deliver and smuggling contraband into jail. Hafer said Cheers allegedly smuggled marijuana into the jail concealed on her person. Hopkins also seized a 2000 Chevy Monte Carlo, $452 cash and three cell phones under civil forfeiture.