I-80 traffic stop yields drug charges

Drug and conspiracy charges have landed three men in the Centre County Correctional Facility after a traffic stop Friday.

State police stopped a vehicle about 11:15 a.m. on Interstate 80 in Boggs Township. The driver, Frank Garcia, 36, of Miami, was found to have drug charges pending in Pennsylvania, police said.

A search was conducted and the trooper noticed plastic packaging and duct tape above the spare tire mounted below the vehicle, a common way to package drugs for transport, according to police documents.

Garcia and two passengers, Diego Contreras, 32, of Wayne, Mich., and Edgar Pineda-Pita, 32, of Ypsilanti, Mich., were taken into custody. A search of the vehicle yielded 10 pounds of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to the criminal complaint.

The men are charged with felony conspiracy to deliver drugs and possession with intent to deliver and misdemeanor drug and paraphernalia possession. The three were arraigned before District Judge Steven Lachman, who set bail at $40,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.