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A 38-year-old Vanceburg, Kentucky man was arrested on drug charges on Wednesday, January 24.
James W. Lavely was charged with Class 1 felony possession of cannabis over 5,000 grams and Class X felony cannabis trafficking over 5,000 grams.
According to court documents provided by Washington County Circuit Clerk Andrea Renken, Lavely reportedly committed the offense of unlawful cannabis trafficking in that he knowingly brought 5,000 or more grams of cannabis into the state for the purpose of delivering the cannabis in Illinois or in any other state. He reportedly drove a silver Chrysler Pacifica into Washington County on eastbound Interstate 64 near mile marker 50 after having left Southern California with his Chrysler containing in excess of 5,000 grams of cannabis.
According to court documents, Lavely also reportedly committed the offense of unlawful possession of cannabis in that he knowingly had in his possession more than 5,000 grams of a substance containing cannabis.
According to a press release from Washington County Sheriff Ross Schultze, at 8:43 a.m. on January 24, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 64 at mile marker 50. Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Howard and his K-9 partner Luna, a narcotics detection dog, conducted a vehicle sniff. K-9 Luna alerted on the vehicle, which resulted in the vehicle being searched. Approximately 114 pounds of cannabis were reportedly located in the vehicle. Lavely was arrested and transported to the Washington County Jail where he was charged.
Lavely appeared in court via Zoom from Washington County Jail on Friday, January 26 and was informed of the charges, possible sentences and his rights. The state’s petition to deny release was continued to Monday, January 29 at 1 p.m. Lavely is to remain incarcerated in the interim.