Narcotics Investigators said they stopped a vehicle carrying nearly two pounds of hydroponic marijuana on Tuesday on U.S. 321 South.
While conducting drug interdiction work along the busy roadway, officers spotted the driver of a black Nissan Murano not wearing a seatbelt and initiated a stop on the vehicle in the southbound lanes near Exit 28.
The driver, Thomas Hyder Holland, 31, of 1111 13th Avenue Northeast in Hickory, was arrested after officers searched his vehicle and discovered it had been filled with hydroponic marijuana, investigators said.
Holland was taking the drugs from Catawba County to a location in Lincoln County, according to officers.
The suspect had the illegal substance separated into plastic bags containing two-ounces each and stuffed them inside a black book bag in the back of his SUV, deputies said.
Lieutenant Jason Reid, head of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, commended his fellow officers for their seizure.
“This is the most talented group of investigators I’ve ever worked with,” he said.
Reid noted how narcotics officers actively work on new investigations each day, resulting in a high volume of drug-related arrests and round-up operations in the county throughout the year.
Holland, who maintains a felony drug record in Catawba County, was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $35,000 secured bond.
He was charged with one count each of failure to comply, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, maintaining a dwelling/vehicle for a controlled substance and possession with intent to manufacture, sell and distribute a schedule VI controlled substance.
In 2012, Holland was convicted of felony possession with intent to sell a schedule II drug, according to the North Carolina Department of Correction.
He has since posted bond.