Authorities are now releasing details of two marijuana busts in southwest Iowa this week that netted a total of 209 pounds of pot. Both cases came during traffic stops.

Pottawattamie County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Reynolds says the biggest of the two hauls came Sunday afternoon on Interstate 80 near Council Bluffs when Deputy Brian Miller stopped a vehicle for speeding.

Reynolds says the vehicle was occupied by the driver, 35-year-old Odilia Pena, of Mendota, California, and her passenger, 24-year-old Lorena Gonzalez, of Fresno, California. Deputy Miller believed there was “criminal activity afoot,” so he deployed his K-9 partner “Francisco.”

The dog alerted to the presence of illegal substances and a search of the vehicle resulted in the recovery of 180-pounds of marijuana. The pot was found in two locked suitcases.

Both women were charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, prohibited acts, and a tax stamp violation. Pena also received citations for other moving violations.

On Wednesday, Deputy Miller and his partner stopped another vehicle for speeding, just a few miles north of where Sunday’s traffic stop and arrests took place. Reynolds says Miller stopped a GMC Yukon for speeding.

The vehicle was occupied by the driver, 25-year-old Beau Hanson, of Clear Lake Oaks, California, and his passenger, 27-year-old William Woods, of McKinleyville, California. Inside the vehicle, Miller found 29-pounds of marijuana and assorted drug paraphernalia. The pot was in a glass jar and vacuum-sealed bags, inside two suitcases.

Hanson and Woods were charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, prohibited acts and a drug tax violation. Woods was also wanted on a warrant out of Indiana for being a fugitive from justice. All four suspects were brought to the Pottawattamie County Jail in Council Bluffs.

Pena, Gonzalez and Hanson were released from custody on $10,000 bond each. Woods remained in the Pottawattamie County Jail Thursday, on $10,000 bond.

By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic