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California man busted with 183 pounds of marijuana in Morton County pleads not guilty

Harold Miller

BISMARCK — A 71-year-old man pulled over earlier this month in Morton County with a reported 183 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle has pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance with an intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Harold Miller, of Sacramento, Calif., appeared in South Central District Court Monday, Aug. 28. Miller, through his attorney Thomas Glass, waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

According to an affidavit filed in the case against Miller:

On Aug. 8, a North Dakota Highway Patrol trooper stopped Miller, who was driving a Dodge minivan, for following too close to the car in front of him. The trooper pulled over Miller's vehicle at the junction of Bismarck Expressway and the eastbound lane of Interstate 94.

While speaking with Miller, the trooper smelled a "strong odor of raw marijuana."

The trooper noticed Miller, who said he was traveling from California to Illinois, appeared to be nervous. Miller's hands were allegedly shaking, and there appeared to be several black garbage bags covered in blankets in the back seat of the van.

When the trooper asked Miller if he had any marijuana in the vehicle, Miller said he had a small amount in a bag sitting in the passenger's seat.

The trooper took Miller to his patrol car, where he issued Miller a warning for following too close. The trooper then conducted a probable cause search of the vehicle, where he found several vacuum-sealed plastic bags marijuana and a long smoking device.

Miller was placed under arrest and taken to the Burleigh County Detention Center. The marijuana — worth $700,000 — and other evidence were secured and logged at the Highway Patrol's office.

Miller is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 4.