Authorities make another large drug seizure on Platte County interstate

Authorities seized another large cache of drugs inside a rental car driving on an interstate in Platte County.

 Joseph Bartels

Joseph Bartels

According to a probable cause statement, a Platte County Sheriff’s Office deputy pulled over a vehicle in the area of Interstates 29 and 435 at about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6 for a traffic violation. The deputy noted a strong scent of air fresheners when making contact with the driver, identified as 50-year-old Joseph Bartels of Lake Ozark, Mo.

Bartels’ hands were shaking when handing his information to the deputy, and the car was rented out of Oregon in a third-party’s name, according to court documents.

All of those factors led the officer to suspicion of narcotics trafficking, but Bartels, sweating and breathing heavy while in the patrol car according to court documents, denied consent to search the vehicle. An exterior check of the vehicle with a trained canine indicated drugs in the rear part of the vehicle.

A total of three plastic totes containing 50 packages of suspected marijuana weighing more than 50 pounds were recovered.

Bartels stands charged with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. A warrant for Bartels arrest was issued on Wednesday, Feb. 10, the same day the charge was filed in Platte County court.