STROUDSBURG – A Wilkes-Barre couple is facing felony drug possession and child endangerment charges in Monroe County after police found a backpack filled with marijuana in their parked vehicle on Interstate 80.


Pennsylvania State Police out of the Stroudsburg Patrol Unit reported that officers stopped to check on the welfare of the occupants of a vehicle parked on the interstate near mile marker 306.6 in Stroudsburg Borough on Sunday, where they found a heavy odor of raw marijuana and other indicators of drug activity.


The couple’s three children; a five-year old male, a two year-old female and a one-year-old male, were observed in the backseat.


After further investigation of the driver, John Aviles, 34, and the passenger, Shantasia Murray, 26, police searched the vehicle and found a backpack filled will marijuana and packaging material under the feet of one of the children.


Police immediately arrested Aviles and Murray, charging each with a felony count of conspiracy to manufacture, deliver or possess a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver, and a felony count of manufacturing, delivering, or possessing a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver.


Aviles was also charged with a third-degree felony count of endangering the welfare of children, a misdemeanor count of use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of a controlled substance, and summary offenses of driving without a license and careless driving.


Murray was also charged with three third-degree felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor count of knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled or counterfeit substance by a person not registered under state health and safety acts, and a misdemeanor count of use or possession of drug paraphernalia.


Bail for Aviles and Murray was set at $25,000, though court documents indicate that neither was able to post bail. Both are currently being held in the Monroe County Correctional Facility as of Monday afternoon.


A criminal docket shows that Murray was scheduled for a preliminary arraignment On March 1, 2020, and a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. on March 9, 2020.