How a Myrtle Beach traffic stop led to the discovery of a 200 grams of pot

When police looked inside a backpack left behind by a suspect that fled a traffic stop, they found more than they expected — nearly 200 grams of marijuana.

On Wednesday, police saw a white Chevrolet Malibu cut in front of another vehicle while making a turn near Oak Street around 9 p.m., according to a police report.

Officers stopped the vehicle and said they could smell marijuana coming from the car. As police waited for the driver to provide his license, the front seat passenger got out of the car, according to the report. The officer asked the passenger where he was going, and the suspect pulled out a red backpack and ran from the area.

The driver, identified as Cody James Rutkowski, said he had just picked up the suspect for a drug deal, according to the report. Police said they found a small amount of money and a clear tube that smelled of marijuana in the center of the car.

Officers discovered the backpack in a wooded area as they searched for the suspect. Inside, officers found several bags of marijuana, according to the report. The drugs weighed nearly 200 grams, or about nearly half pound of marijuana. There was also a scale and clear bags in the sack.

Police did not find the person who fled.

When officers detained Rutkowski, they found more than $2,500 on him and in his car, according to the report. Rutkowski was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

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Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.