NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Police say they arrested a man and a woman on drug charges Wednesday evening after they found over an ounce of marijuana and a handgun in a Cheerios box during a traffic stop in North Charleston.
North Charleston police officers were patrolling Rivers Avenue at 8:24 p.m. when they saw a 1999 Dodge Durango make an improper lane change onto Rivers Avenue from Reynolds Avenue. Officers said the SUV was also driving 20 miles over the posted speed limit of 30.
After stopping the vehicle at the corner of Carner and Clements Avenues, officers walked up to the car to find 19-year-old Mariah Christine Dowling in the driver's seat and 20-year-old Julius Quintez Manigault in the passenger seat.
According to the incident report, Dowling told police her child was sick in the hospital and that she was speeding to get there to be with her. When asked about her passenger, Dowling told officers that she picked him up and was driving him downtown.
Police then ran a records check on Dowling and Manigault, which confirmed that there was an active bench warrant for Dowling on a shoplifting charge.
While officers were arresting Dowling, they said Manigault seemed increasingly nervous. They described his voice as "low-spoken" and said he was "shaking uncontrollably." During a subsequent search of the 20-year-old man police found a metal grinder - presumably used to grind marijuana - disguised as a coin in his right front pocket, and a black glove containing what appeared to be a plastic backing to an electronics device.
Officers said they then searched the glove box of the car, finding 33 empty sandwich bags and a digital scale, which was missing the same battery-backing piece of plastic they found in Manigault's pocket.
Police said they then found a Cheerios cereal box behind the driver's seat, which contained a 38-gram bag of marijuana and a pistol loaded with seven bullets in the clip and one in the chamber. Police said they also found a black ski mask on the back seat.
Dowling and Manigault were both charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Dowling was also charged for shoplifting.