Police arrest Warrenton man on felony marijuana charge

MANASSAS — City police arrested a 21-year-old Warrenton man on drug charges after officers discovered approximately 7 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $30,000, in his car early Tuesday morning, Sgt. Marc J. Woolverton, a police spokesman, said Wednesday.

Joel Robert Weigel, of 6448 Lancaster Drive, has been charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, a felony which carries a penalty of five to 30 years in prison, Woolverton said.

Shortly after 1:20 a.m., police witnessed Weigel driving a Honda Civic northbound on Dumfries Road, swerving back and forth, Woolverton said.

Officer Daniel Brazier began following the car and pulled Weigel over after he turned onto Wellington Road.

When Brazier began talking to Weigel, the officer noticed a strong odor of marijuana in the car, Woolverton said. Brazier determined that Weigel was not driving under the influence of alcohol, but searched the car due to the suspicion that illegal drugs were in the Civic, Woolverton said.

Police found a suitcase with 11 plastic bags of suspected marijuana in the truck, along with a small amount of the substance in the front seat.

“The officers found a green, leafy substance that … [they] believed to be marijuana,” Woolverton said. “We will not know for sure until we get results from [the substance’s] analysis, which should take four to six weeks.”

Weigel, who was not given a drug test that night, is being held without bond pending a May 23 preliminary hearing, Woolverton said. The Civic has been seized pending a forfeiture hearing.

Staff writer Adam H. Beasley can be reached at (703) 878-8065.

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