Law enforcement is looking for a Soldotna man after 50 pounds of marijuana were found in his vehicle on June 27.
Soldotna Police released 44-year-old Joey Girves following a traffic stop, but seized his vehicle after smelling the marijuana during contact.
Girves faces two drug-related charges. He faces one count of possession of controlled substances and one count of intent to deliver.
The request for an arrest warrant dated Aug. 23 states Girves left Alaska after the traffic stop. Alaska State Troopers Spokesperson Megan Peters said Girves’ whereabouts is still unknown.
According to an affidavit filed by Troopers, Soldotna Police stopped Girves in the Maverick Saloon parking lot after Girves had driven over a curb and sidewalk near the Kobuk Street and Wilson Lane intersection.
While making the traffic stop, Sgt. Duane Kant smelled fresh marijuana from the 2001 Toyota pickup. Girves denied having any marijuana in the vehicle and refused to allow Kant to search the pickup.
The vehicle was impounded while police obtained a search warrant. On June 30, after getting the warrant, police searched the vehicle and found the “high-grade processed” marijuana with a street value of $225,000.
“The amount of marijuana … is indicative of someone possessing the controlled substance with the intent to distribute it,” the report said.
The Alaska Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit was asked to take over the case.
Speaking for the drug unit, Peters wrote in an email she cannot disclose details of where in the vehicle the drugs were found as the investigation is ongoing.
Troopers received the results of the test sample from the state crime lab confirming it as marijuana on Aug. 7.
“Investigations take time,” Peters said about the roughly two months between the traffic stop and issuing of the arrest warrant.
The drug unit assists agencies when requested and that there is “no set (quantity of drugs) that determines a shift of case responsibility,” Peters said.
Bail for Girves is set at $10,000 and a court approved third party custodian.
Kaylee Osowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.