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MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A California Highway Patrol K-9 officer sniffed out a giant bale of marijuana during a recent traffic stop in the Merced area.

An officer pulled over a 2017 Dodge Ram pickup for speeding over 70 mph on Tuesday. As the officer approached the vehicle, he could smell the distinct and strong odor of marijuana.

The officer also saw a large marijuana bud in a cup holder in-between the driver and front passenger seat, the CHP said. While talking with the driver, the officer noticed several more indicators of criminal activity.

K-9 officer Benny was called to sniff the exterior of the vehicle and gave a positive alert to the odor of narcotics.

A search of the vehicle found a 22-pound bale of marijuana in the backseat and a .357 Ruger GP100 revolver, later found to be stolen, the CHP said.

The driver was arrested on multiple drug related charges.

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