BELLE FOURCHE — Two 19-year-olds pleaded not guilty Monday to charges related to possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
According to court documents, around 2 p.m. on March 13, South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Trey Bedford was patrolling U.S. Highway 212 when he reportedly observed a speeding vehicle and performed a traffic stop. The vehicle had Washington license plates.
Bedford identified the male driver as Ian Michael McGee, 19, of Tacoma, Wash., and the female passenger as Amelia Claire Stebbing, 19, of Oak Park, Ill.
While speaking with the couple, Bedford reported smelling the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The officer reported the smell continued to his patrol car where he asked McGee to accompany him.
When Bedford questioned McGee about the smell, he reportedly stated there was no marijuana in the vehicle however, a probable cause search revealed 8.5 ounces of marijuana, one THC oil cartridge, and items of paraphernalia including lighters and rolling papers.
Court documents alledge that both McGee and Stebbing claimed ownership of the drugs and said they loaded the vehicle together.
McGee and Stebbing were subsequently arrested and released on bond March 14.
On April 10, a Butte County grand jury indicted the pair and charged each with possession of a Schedule 1 controlled drug or substance, a Class 5 felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment in the state penitentiary and a fine of up to $10,000; and possession of more than two ounces but less than one-half pound of marijuana, a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to two years imprisonment in the state penitentiary and a fine of up to $4,000.
McGee and Stebbing pleaded not guilty to the charges at their Monday arraignments and are due back in