Daniel Dominguez Silva, 23, of Mexico, still faces trafficking charges, but the California woman who was stopped driving their truck on I-70 pled guilty to distribution after a trafficking charge was dropped.

A man from Mexico who is in the U.S. illegally hasn’t changed his “not guilty” plea to drug trafficking charges, but the California woman who was driving the car when the pair were found with 112 pounds of marijuana was given a suspended sentence after she plead guilty to lesser charges.

Daniel Dominguez Silva, 23, of Mexico, and Rosa Maria Velazquez Maldonado, 21, of Fortuna, California, were arrested Oct. 22 while driving eastbound on Interstate 70 near the 110-mile marker.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Larry Allen pulled over Maldonado, who was driving the Toyota Tacoma fitted with a camper shell, after he saw the pair “sitting rigidly” and following another vehicle at a one-car length, Allen wrote in a probable cause statement.

Allen wrote that he noticed the smell of raw marijuana and dryer sheets when he came to the window of the truck. Maldonado admitted to Allen that she had smoked marijuana the night before, and handed over some that she had in the truck’s console, Allen wrote in the statement.

When troopers searched the truck, they found 112 duffel bags in the bed, each with a pound of marijuana inside, according to Allen.

Maldonado was charged with second-degree accessory to trafficking marijuana and accessory to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. She originally pleaded not guilty in October but guilty to the distribution charge Nov. 26, after the trafficking charge was dropped. Judge Robert L. Koffman sentenced Maldonado to serve seven years, if she violates her five years of supervised probation, according to court records.

Silva faces felony charges of second-degree drug trafficking, delivery of marijuana and illegally re-entering the United States. Allen wrote in his probable cause statement that Silva is an undocumented citizen of Mexico. Silva is next scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 22 for a preliminary hearing.

Chad Christopher Davis

Chad Christopher Davis, 31, of Anna, Illinois, was found with 80 pounds of marijuana in the bed of a Dodge Dakota he had recently purchased in California after a traffic stop Oct. 23.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Nolan Bax wrote in a probable cause statement that he saw Davis driving too close to a white Toyota Tacoma, and that Davis had a rear license plate cover that “partially covered” his California license plate. After first spotting Davis at the 94-mile marker, Bax pulled him over approximately 8 a.m. at the 99-mile marker.

Davis told Trooper Nolan Bax that the bed cover was broken when he bought the truck, and that the person who sold it to him didn’t have the key, Bax wrote in a probable cause statement. Davis faces charges of second-degree drug trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 5 for an arraignment.

bcrowley@gatehousemedia.com