A routine traffic stop in Black Rock produced several large bags of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. At 7:26 p.m. on Saturday, Black Rock Police stopped a white Ford Focus traveling northbound for a simple speeding violation. As officers approached the vehicle, a strong smell of what they believed to be marijuana, could be detected coming from the car.

Officers asked the driver, identified as 62 year old, Tillman Russell of Ash Flat if any drugs were in the vehicle. Russell denied any drugs in the car but produced an Arkansas medical marijuana card and told officers the reason for the smell, was that he had used marijuana in the vehicle earlier that day.

The AR medical marijuana card that Russell produced showed to be invalid and Russell was unable to produce a current Arkansas medical marijuana card. At that point, Russell was asked for consent to search the vehicle, he voluntarily gave consent but became nervous when officers asked him to open the trunk. At that point, Russell admitted that illegal drugs were in the trunk of his vehicle. Once the trunk was opened, officers discovered eight large bags of marijuana, numerous smaller bags of marijuana, marijuana grinder, scales, and packaging material. Russell was taken into custody and charged with possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, possession with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia. All felony charges, according to Chief Mark Vanbrook of the Black Rock Police Department.

Tillman Russell has an extensive criminal background with numerous drug convictions dating back to the 1970’s. On Monday he will receive a bond hearing and a court date will be set. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office assisted Black Rock PD with the incident. Russell’s vehicle was towed from the scene by Cook’s Wrecker Service of Walnut Ridge.