On Tuesday, Nov. 27 at about 7:30 p.m., a Mendocino County sheriff’s deputy conducted a traffic enforcement stop on a vehicle near the Moss Cove rest stop on Highway 101 between Willits and Laytonville, for exceeding the posted speed limit.
The occupants of the vehicle identified themselves as Keith Stewart Jr., age 34, of Brooklyn, New York, and Alexander Odell, age 24, of Eureka, California.
While speaking to Odell and Stewart the deputy learned that the vehicle they were operating was a rental and that neither of them was listed on the rental agreement. The deputy was also unable to locate any driver’s license information for either Odell or Stewart.
During the enforcement stop the deputy deployed his K9 partner. The K9 detected an odor of illegal drugs coming from within the vehicle. Following a search of the vehicle the deputy located a very large quantity of cash in the trunk of the vehicle. Both Odell and Stewart stated they had no knowledge of the cash in the trunk.
The deputy also located a large amount of cash on Odell and Stewart and determined that both Stewart and Odell were involved in the recent sales of marijuana.
In total the deputy located and seized $166,895. Both Odell and Stewart were arrested for possession of money obtained as a result of, or intended to purchase, a controlled substance and transported to the Mendocino County jail where each was being held on $25,000 bail.