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IUP student charged in $115,000 marijuana arrest

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Monday, May 5, 2014, 7:03 p.m.

A student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is charged with drug offenses after police on Monday confiscated more than 20 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $115,000.

Indiana Borough police arrested Aaron Andrew Paul Gmuca, 24, of Windber following an early-morning traffic stop.

An investigation uncovered a drug connection to New Jersey, police said.

Gmuca, an IUP senior, was charged with possession with intent to deliver, police said.

Police said several occupants in the car “appeared to be attempting to hide a package underneath the seat of the vehicle.” That package yielded a vacuum-sealed bag containing $15,000 in cash.

Further investigation uncovered additional cash and the drugs, police said.

Indiana police officer Thomas Dessell stopped the vehicle about 3 a.m.

Further investigation revealed the occupants — who were not identified by police — had just delivered a package to an Oak Street address. Police obtained a search warrant for the home and an additional warrant for a 2007 BMW at the home.

Inside the car, police said, was marijuana contained in 20 one-pound, vacuum-sealed bags.

A fourth warrant served on another vehicle leaving the home turned up a half-pound of marijuana, according to police.

Additional suspects are expected to be charged.

Gmuca was arraigned before District Judge Guy Haberl and jailed in the Indiana County Jail in lieu of posting $100,000 bail, online court records show.

He faces a preliminary hearing before Haberl.

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