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Father, son arrested in ND after more than 200 pounds of pot, other drugs found in their vehicle

Robert Earl Smith, 53, Vancouver, Wash. Burleigh / Morton County Detention Center1 / 2
Christopher Conkey, 24, Grants Pass, Ore. Burleigh / Morton County Detention Center2 / 2

MANDAN, N.D. — A father and son face felony charges after a search of their vehicle on Interstate 94 found more than 200 pounds of marijuana and other illegal drugs Sunday, Feb. 4.

Robert Earl Smith, 53, of Vancouver, Wash., and Christopher Conkey, 24, of Grants Pass, Ore., were arrested for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver after illegal drugs valued at $1.1 million were found during the search following a routine traffic stop.

A K-9 sniffed around the vehicle and signaled the presence of narcotics. A search revealed a banker's bag with about $2,400 in cash, and large boxes holding multiple heat-sealed bags were found under a topper in the truck bed.

The vehicle was then towed to the Burleigh/Morton County Detention Center, and a search warrant was granted by a judge. A subsequent search Sunday afternoon found 210 pounds of raw marijuana, 5 pounds of THC wax or shatter (a processed, concentrated form of the psychoactive chemical in marijuana) and 8 grams of methamphetamine.

Conkey and Smith were transported to the Burleigh/Morton County Detention Center, where they were listed as inmates Monday, Feb. 5.

Helmut Schmidt

Helmut Schmidt was born in Germany, but grew up in the Twin Cities area, graduating from Park High School of Cottage Grove. After serving a tour in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., graduating in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He then worked at the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune and served as managing editor there for three years. He joined The Forum in October 1989, working as a copy editor until 2000. Since then, he has worked as a reporter on several beats, including K-12 education, Fargo city government, criminal justice, and military affairs. He is currently one of The Forum's business reporters.

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