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Cops: Car stop in Islip leads to weapons arrest

The driver of a car stopped for speeding on the Southern State Parkway was arrested Wednesday afternoon after State Police said a trooper smelled marijuana -- and a vehicle search uncovered a knife.

Daniel Verastegui, 20, of Central Islip, was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and traffic violations after the stop near Route 111 in Islip at 3:30 p.m., police said.

Verastegui faces arraignment in First District Court in Central Islip on Jan. 10.

Police said a trooper from the Brentwood barracks stopped Verastegui after spotting his white BMW speeding on the Southern State.

After detecting "the odor of marijuana," police said the trooper searched the vehicle -- and recovered an illegal dagger knife inside the car. In the news release, police did not say whether drugs were recovered.

Verastegui's Hauppauge attorney, Scott Gross, questioned the basis for the search, saying it was due to an odor of marijuana "that didn't exist."

Gross said a search "was performed, but my client did not have any drugs on him or in the vehicle."

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