State Troopers Have Busy Weekend, Prepare For Memorial Day

MAY 24, 2021 (GRAND ISLAND, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol were busy this weekend with a variety of incidents throughout the state.

At approximately 4:00 p.m. Friday, a trooper saw an eastbound Ford Expedition following another vehicle too closely on Interstate 80 near Aurora. During the traffic stop, a K-9 from the Merrick County Sheriff’s Department detected the odor of a controlled substance inside the vehicle.

A search of the vehicle revealed 181 pounds of marijuana in large bags in the cargo area of the vehicle. The driver, Robert Jones, 37, of Denver, was arrested and taken to the Hamilton County Jail for possession of marijuana – more than one pound and possession with intent to deliver.

Friday evening, at approximately 8:20 p.m., a trooper saw a motorcycle speeding at over 130 miles per hour on Interstate 680 in Omaha. The trooper notified the NSP Aviation Division, which was already in the area. The NSP Helicopter was able to follow the motorcycle until the rider stopped and fled on foot near 72nd and McKinley. Troopers searched the area and located another driver who had been contacted by the motorcycle rider. That contact led to the location of the motorcycle rider, Joshua Dunn, 24, of Omaha. Dunn was arrested for willful reckless driving, flight to avoid arrest, and obstructing a peace officer.

At approximately 12:00 p.m. Saturday, NSP received a report of a Chevrolet Impala driving recklessly on Interstate 80 near Wood River. Troopers found the vehicle in a gas station parking lot south of Interstate 80 at the Grand Island interchange, at exit 312. During the encounter, a trooper saw a gun in the center console of the vehicle. Further investigation led to the discovery of 18 pills, suspected to be fentanyl, in a plastic bag inside the vehicle.

The driver, Miguel Vazquez Estrada, 25, of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession of a concealed weapon, and possession of a firearm while committing a felony. The passenger, Cody Deichen, 26, Hastings, Nebraska, was arrested for possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm while committing a felony. Both men were lodged in Hall County Jail.

The Patrol is participating in the Memorial Day Enforcement Campaign.  Extra troopers will be on the highways watching for reckless or erratic drivers.

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