N.C. State Highway Patrol Trooper M.D. Dodson has seen copious marijuana nuggets in his days pulling speeders to the shoulder.
But the patrolman had never beheld contraband baked into Fruity Pebbles Rice Krispies Treats before -- that was, not until, 11:24 a.m. Jan. 14.
It was late on a Sunday morning, as Dodson watched Interstate 40 and I-85 traffic from a weigh station, near Mile Marker 157's Buckhorn Road, when a white Hyundai sped past -- doing 85 mph in a 65 mph zone.
Dodson hit the lights and sirens and gave chase.
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The Hyundai headed east, in the fast lane, Dodson said. It slowed to 35 mph, Dodson said, before pulling over in a pursuit that lasted seven-tenths of a mile.
Dodson approached the Hyundai on its passenger side. He motioned for the driver to roll down the window.
"The smell was strong," he said. "Yes. Very strong."
After asking the driver, Brandon C. Dodd of Greensboro, to produce his license and registration, the trooper spotted a "white trash bag in the console, between the seats, that looked like" it'd been torn, Dodson said,
"Do you have any drugs in the car?" he asked.
"He was very nervous and wouldn't tell me nothing," Dodson recalled.
The trooper said he could see a mason jar full of marijuana and a brownie wrapped in a clear plastic which Dodd, per instruction, placed on the passenger seat.
Dodson recalled asking Dodd, "'Are there any weapons in the vehicle?'"
"At that point, he got really, really nervous," Dodson said, Dodd began to inch his hand -- slow as a snail -- toward his Hyundai's glove box.
Dodson did not move slowly, he said, but lunged for the glove box himself.
"There was a gun, cocked with one in the chamber" in the glove box, Dodson said.
The handgun was a "very old," .9-caliber, Browning pistol which had been manufactured in Belgium, Dodson said, when Browning firearms were still manufactured in Belgium, around the midpoint of the 20th century.
He placed the gun in the grass beside the interstate.
He handcuffed Dodd later transferred him to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
Highway Patrol Trooper T. Hussey helped with the arrest and the transport of Dodd.
The lawmen seized the Browning pistol, $480, a digital scale and approximately 8 pounds of marijuana-filled baked goods.
"I had never seen any edibles before," Dodson said. "That was the first time."
Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks
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