Johnstown police filed drug charges on Wednesday against a Ferndale man who was allegedly caught driving under the influence with 60 pounds of marijuana in the back of his SUV.

On Monday, a Johnstown police officer allegedly noticed a white Nissan Rogue driving in downtown Johnstown with its windshield wipers on, but its headlights off, which is against the law in Pennsylvania. 

The officer followed the SUV and pulled it over at the corner of Bedford and Vine streets after the driver almost struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

When the officer walked up to the SUV, he allegedly smelled burnt marijuana. He also noticed that the driver, 27-year-old Andrew R. Colvin, had bloodshot eyes and was “inattentive, looking around erratically and licking his lips,” according to the affidavit. Colvin failed standard field sobriety tests and refused a blood draw at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, police said.

After Colvin was taken to the hospital and the SUV was towed away, a drug-sniffing police dog allegedly “gave a strong indication” at the rear of the SUV, where a police officer had previously noticed what was described in the affidavit as “a large box wrapped in Saran wrap.”

When police obtained and executed a search warrant for the vehicle, they found 60 pounds of marijuana packaged in shrink-wrapped one-pound bundles inside the large box, according to the affidavit. They also allegedly found what was described in the affidavit as “a bill of lading that was for Colvin in regards to the package containing the marijuana.”

Also found in and seized from the SUV were a bottle containing nine whole oxycodone pills and numerous halved oxycodone pills, a clear container containing “a brown unknown substance that appears to be similar to heroin,” three baggies “of a white substance, possibly cocaine,” and $339 in cash, according to the affidavit.

Colvin, of the 800 block of Vickroy Avenue, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon before District Judge Michael J. Musulin, of Johnstown. Court records indicate that he has been charged with possession with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance, driving under the influence and two summary traffic violations.

He is represented by Thomas M. Dickey, an Altoona-based defense attorney, and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 17 before Musulin. According to court records, he remains confined at Cambria County Prison in lieu of 10% of $75,000 bail.

Mark Pesto is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkPesto.

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