LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska State Patrol says troopers responded to hundreds of incidents this past weekend, mostly related to the winter storm that rolled through Nebraska between Friday and Sunday evening. During the weekend, troopers responded to 49 crashes, performed 224 motorist assists, and assisted other law enforcement agencies with 47 incidents.
“Our troopers and dispatchers were busy all weekend with weather-related incidents,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “Responding to incidents during a winter storm can be dangerous for first responders, facing the elements and potential of secondary crashes in the area. Drivers should always use caution and move over when emergency vehicles are present.”
Troopers also made seven arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol, several of which were initiated by a trooper responding to a stranded vehicle or vehicle that had crashed. In addition to those incidents, troopers also made multiple drug arrests following traffic stops.
At 1:15 a.m. Friday, a trooper stopped a vehicle for speeding on Old Highway 71 north of Kimball. During the traffic stop, the trooper discovered the driver had a suspended license. A search of the vehicle revealed 3 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and a homemade metal sword.
The driver, Erik Nuss, 39, of Bayard, was arrested for driving under suspension, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a deadly weapon while committing a felony. Nuss was lodged in Kimball County Jail.
At approximately 1:20 p.m. Friday, another trooper stopped an eastbound semi-tractor/trailer for driving on the shoulder of Interstate 80 near Gibbon at mile marker 284. During the traffic stop, the trooper smelled the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed a small amount of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and also 31 fraudulent credit cards, including one that had been used earlier in the day at a gas station in Ogallala.
Both occupants, Garik Hunanyan, 28, and Yana Kravets, 22, of California, were arrested for possession of fraudulent financial transaction devices, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana – less than one ounce. Both were lodged in Buffalo County Jail.