Car dealer charged with intent to distribute 416 pounds of marijuana

JACKSON — The owner of a used car dealership in Jackson and two other men have been charged with possession with intent to distribute 416 pounds of marijuana after a tip led authorities to the car lot, federal court records said.

Jeremy Lee Stambaugh, owner of Paradise Auto Sales in south Jackson, was arrested at the car lot last week along with Johnny Earl Course and David E. Jones, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Jackson. The affidavit was filed by one of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Agent responsible for the arrests and was dated Feb. 15.

The affidavit said investigators were acting on a tip “from an unproven confidential source” when they began to stake out the dealership last Wednesday. The tipster allegedly told authorities that there were men at the dealership breaking down a big bundle of marijuana and packaging it for distribution.

The affidavit said narcotics agents could smell marijuana coming from one of the buildings and Stambaugh signed a former allowing the agents to search the property. They found “unwrapped bales of marijuana” stacked against the wall of a building, the affidavit said.

Course tried to run while the scene was being processed, but he has already been handcuffed and was quickly caught, according to the affidavit.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson held a hearing for the men last Friday and ordered them held pending a detention hearing and preliminary hearing, which she scheduled for tomorrow.

Anderson assigned the men’s cases to the federal public defenders’ office. Public defender Dennis Joiner said yesterday that it’s too early to comment on the case.

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