KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Michigan man was arrested last week in Knoxville after officers found 19 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop.

Jose Armas-Pena, 61, of Sinclaire, Michigan, faces a felony drug charge after he was stopped by the Knoxville Police Department on Thursday, Jan. 19.

According to court documents, officers pulled over a rental vehicle, a Toyota Prius, with expired registration on I-75 South near Emory Road. Officers claim Armas-Pena was visibly nervous when asked if there was a possibility that narcotics were in the car. He reportedly told police that he had been convicted in the past for marijuana sales.

Officers were alerted to the odor of narcotics in a search by a K9. According to the general sessions docket, when police asked again if there were any illicit items in the car, Armas-Pena admitted to having 19 pounds of marijuana in the duffle bag in the trunk.

19 approximately gallon size bags of marijuana on the hood of a police cruiser.
The marijuana was found by Knoxville Police during the traffic stop. (Courtesy of Knoxville Police Department)

Armas-Pena allegedly admitted after being read his Miranda rights that he grows the marijuana plants at his house and sells the drugs in Florida because he “gets more money down there.”

“Outstanding proactive work by KPD drug interdiction officers, who last Thursday morning stopped a rental car that was driving south on I-75. That stop ultimately resulted in the seizure of around 19 pounds of marijuana that was [en] route to Florida and the arrest of a man from Detroit, Michigan. Great job!” The Knoxville Police Department said in a Facebook post.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in Knox County court on Feb. 2.