Police seize 15 pounds of marijuana in Holyoke traffic stop

Two Holyoke men are facing drug charges after a routine traffic stop early today in that city led to the discovery of cocaine and 15 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle, State Police said.

Kelly Arzate, 29, and his passenger, Charles Berard, 27, have been charged with trafficking cocaine and possession with intent to distribute a Class D substance. Arzate was also charged with a license plate light violation, State Police said in a statement.

State Police released this photo of the contraband

Around 12:50 a.m., a state trooper observed that Arzate’s license plate light was out and pulled over his vehicle on Lyman Street in Holyoke. As he approached the vehicle, he noticed a strong odor of marijuana emitting from inside the car, State Police said in a statement.

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After calling for backup, the trooper asked both Arzate and Berard to step out of the vehicle for a motor vehicle inventory. Troopers recovered a plastic bag containing what is believed to be cocaine in the front center console, eight cellphones, a white plastic bag filled with more than $13,000 in cash, and 15 pounds of individually packaged clear bags of marijuana in the trunk.

When the drugs were discovered, Arzate attempted to flee on foot, but was quickly apprehended and both men were arrested, State Police said.

Arzate and Berard are to be arraigned in Holyoke District Court.

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