Cook County man arrested after police find 167 pounds of marijuana, 400 THC pens in van

Sgt. Eric Lisoski (left) and Officer Darren Conley (right)

A Cook County man was arrested in Indiana Sunday after police say they found over 160 pounds of marijuana in a cargo van he was driving on Interstate 94.

Erik J. Boehm, 22, of Melrose Park, has been charged with dealing a controlled substance, dealing marijuana and resisting law enforcement.

According to the Chesterton Police Department (CPD), Sgt. Eric Lisoski and Officer Darren Conley were working an interdiction patrol on Interstate 94 just before 3 p.m. Sunday when Conley noticed a westbound Ford Transit van commit a traffic violation near mile mark 29.

Conley then executed a traffic stop near mile marker 26 at the Chesterton exit and made contact with the driver.

When Conley requested the driver's license "through a small opening in the passenger's side window," he detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the van.

Conley then instructed the driver, identified as Boehm, to exit the van, but Boehm acted as if he didn't hear him.

Conley asked again and Boehm allegedly refused several more times. 

CPD said that Conley was then "forced to move to the driver’s side door of the van," which put him in a difficult position with passing traffic along the interstate. 

"At one point (the driver) attempted to close the driver’s side window on Officer Conley’s wrist," CPD said.

Sgt. Lisoski arrived at the scene to assist and, together, the two officers were able to convince the driver to exit the van without incident.

The officers then searched the van and found it was packed with bags of marijuana, as well as boxes of other THC products. Boehm was also in possession of a firearm at the time.

At that time, he was taken into custody and transported to the Porter County Jail.

"Due to the vast amount of marijuana and THC-related products located in the cargo area, the vehicle was transported to the Chesterton Police Department," CPD said.

At the police department, Conley and Lisoski found about 167 pounds of marijuana, 4600 THC cartridges, 198 pre-rolled marijuana blunts and 400 THC pens. 

"I want to commend the recently implemented drug interdiction team of Officer Conley and Sgt. Lisoski," Police Chief Tim Richardson said. "These officers, and many other officers around the State of Indiana, navigate and work on our highly traveled interstates. It’s no secret that it can be dangerous for these officers as they conduct investigations along the side of our interstates where commercial and passenger vehicles commonly travel at speeds of 70 to 80 miles per hour. These officers are many times unsung heroes in the war on drugs plaguing our nation."

Dealing with a controlled substance is punishable by a term of 10 to 30 years and dealing marijuana is punishable by a term of one to six years.