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Traffic stop for running red light leads to major drug bust


PITTSBURG, Kan. — A traffic stop for running a red light led to a significant drug bust Thursday when police found more than 10 pounds of marijuana and over 5 ounces of cocaine in the driver’s vehicle, according to the Pittsburg Police Department. 

Shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday, a PPD officer on routine patrol near the 1000 block of North Broadway allegedly observed a white 2008 Dodge Ram pickup traveling westbound on 10th Street fail to stop for a red traffic light at the intersection of Broadway. The officer subsequently initiated a traffic stop on the pickup in the west alleyway of the 800 block of North Pine Street. 

Upon stopping, the driver of the Ram pickup, 25-year-old Quionte M. Tidwell of Pittsburg, allegedly exited the vehicle and began to quickly walk away. The officer directed Tidwell to stop, to which Tidwell complied. Upon approach to the vehicle, the officer detected the odor of marijuana coming from within the pickup, according to the PPD. Tidwell and a passenger, 52-year-old Jose Flores-Velez, of Pittsburg, were detained while the officer searched the pickup. During the search, the officer allegedly located a loaded 9mm handgun, a bag containing a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine, a duffle bag containing a large amount of what is believed to be marijuana, a box containing several bags of white powdery substance believed to be cocaine, and a box containing 13 two-ounce containers of a yellow wax-like substance believed to be tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrate. 

In total, the weight of the suspected marijuana is estimated at 4,777 grams (approximately 10.5 pounds), the weight of the suspected cocaine is estimated at 162 grams (approximately 0.35 pounds), and the weight of the suspected THC concentrate is estimated at 26 ounces (approximately 1.6 pounds), according to the PPD. 

Both Tidwell and Flores-Velez were taken into custody, and the pickup was towed from the scene. Flores-Velez was questioned at the police station regarding his involvement in this situation, and he was later released.  

Tidwell was arrested for various drug related offenses and was transported to the jail at the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office for booking. He was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm, felony possession of narcotics with intent to distribute, felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, felony possession of narcotics, felony possession of paraphernalia, and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He is being held without bond.  

The investigation into the incident is ongoing at this time, the PPD noted. Anyone having information related to this incident, or other incidents, is urged to contact the Pittsburg Police Department at 620-231-1700, or at the tip line, 620-231-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous.