The Missouri State Highway Patrol arrested three Iowa residents near Bevier, Missouri following a traffic stop on US 36.

According the The Patrol, a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix was stopped for speeding just before noon on May 13. "Suspicious circumstances led to the trooper requesting and receiving consent to search the vehicle," said the Missouri State Highway Patrol in a news release. "During the search, approximately 3 pounds of marijuana and 15 grams of marijuana edible products were located in the trunk of the vehicle."

19-year-old Yovany Ortiz of Burlington, Iowa was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, 18-year-old Brendon Bernhart of Burlginton was arrested for driving while suspended and exceeding the posted speed limit, and 20-year-old Justin Newman was arrested for unlawful use of drug paraphernalia and possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana.

Ortiz was taken to the Macon County Jail pending an issuance of an arrest warrant. Bernhart and Newman were released on summonses.

Kurt Parsons

Press release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol

At approximately 11:55 a.m. on May 13, 2016, a Missouri state trooper stopped an eastbound 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix for exceeding the speed limit on U.S. Highway 36 near Bevier, Missouri, in Macon County. Suspicious circumstances led to the trooper requesting and receiving consent to search the vehicle. During the search, approximately 3 pounds of marijuana and 15 grams of marijuana edible products were located in the trunk of the vehicle. A passenger of the vehicle, Yovany Ortiz, 19, of Burlington, Iowa, claimed ownership of the contraband and was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Ortiz was incarcerated in the Macon County Jail pending issuance of an arrest warrant. The driver of the vehicle, Brendon H. Bernhart, 18 of Burlington, Iowa, was arrested for driving while suspended and exceeding the posted speed limit. A second passenger, Justin E. Newman, 20, of Burlington, Iowa, was arrested for unlawful use of drug paraphernalia and possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana, both misdemeanors. Bernhart and Newman were both later released on summonses. The Macon County Sheriff’s Department assisted the Patrol with the arrests.

The arrests stem for the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s continued efforts in curtailing criminal activity and seizing illegal contraband that is being transported on Missouri highways.

The charges for which the individuals were arrested are mere accusations and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of the charges must be presented before of court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.