CANADIAN COUNTY, Okla. - A retired deputy from California is now facing drug charges in Oklahoma.
It stems from a traffic stop in Canadian County that led a deputy to more than 60 pounds of marijuana.
Around 8 p.m. on February 12, 68-year-old Stanley Hirayama of Westwood, California was stopped for the traffic violation on I-40 in Canadian County.
After the deputy made contact with the driver, he reportedly detected what he believed to be the odor of marijuana.
When Hirayama handed the deputy his California driver’s license, he also handed him a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office deputy commission credential.
"To hand them a commission card is kind of like saying, 'Hey, I'm law enforcement,’” said Canadian County Sheriff Chris West. “You're looking for a special favor. That's why you do that."
And, that's what authorities believe Hirayama was doing.
A lane change violation led the Canadian County deputy to the scent of marijuana and questions about where the suspects were headed.
Hirayama said he was headed to Nashville with his girlfriend to meet her friends but didn't know much more.
"He doesn't know what the friends names are, where they're at, how long they're going to be there, where they're staying,” West said. “I mean that's all normal stuff that I think all logical, reasonable people would have all worked out."
When they talked to his passenger, Shannon Conley, authorities said their stories didn’t add up.
The 42-year-old from Nevada reportedly told the deputy she was a dancer and she and Hirayama were "seasonal roommates" traveling to Nashville to sightsee but not visit friends.
Knowing something was up, the deputy asked her about marijuana in the vehicle. That’s when she reportedly gave them a clue.
"Immediately, she looks over her left-hand shoulder toward the rear end of the vehicle right where the drugs were,” West said.
That’s when Conley reportedly admitted they had the drugs in their car.
Authorities believe Conley was manipulating Hirayama, thinking, since he was a deputy, he would get a free pass if they got stopped.
"He's a dirty cop,” West said. “He'll never convince me that he didn't know the marijuana was back there."
Both were arrested and booked into jail on $100,000 bonds.
Conley was able to post the bond and has been released. Hirayama is still in custody.
The street value of the marijuana is estimated at $150,000.
West said they've seen a huge influx of high-grade, high-quality marijuana coming from the west and heading to the east. They believe a lot of it is coming from Colorado and California, where marijuana has been legalized.