28 lbs of pot found after Nashville traffic stop for seat belt violation

(Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A simple traffic stop over a seat belt violation resulted in Metro police seizing 28 pounds of marijuana, the department said Wednesday.

According to a press release, Dhargham Ateia, 26, was pulled over on Boscobel street this past Monday for not wearing a seat belt.

When the officer approached Ateia, a convicted felon, he reportedly noticed the strong odor of marijuana inside his rental car.

A search was conducted, and Metro police say two handguns, a small bag of marijuana, and $1,150 in cash was found.

Ateia was allegedly in possession of a key fob to a Mercedes Benz seen travelling in front of his rental car. Police say further investigation led to the identification of Carla Flores, 25, who got out of the Mercedes and went into a nearby home.

Flores agreed to a search of the car, according to the press release, where officers reportedly found four more guns, a duffle bag with large plastic bags of weed, and $22,080 in cash. The weed amounted to 27 pounds total.

Metro police say Ateia and Flores told officers they recently rented an AirBnb in the 800 block of Boscobel Street and were planning to live there.

They are both charged with felony marijuana possession, gun possession during the commission of a drug offense, and theft.

Flores and Ateia, who has previous convictions for drug possession and aggravated burglary, are being held in lieu of $75,000 bond each.