Lexington County traffic stop leads to arrest on drug and weapons charges

A Columbia man was arrested for drug and weapon offenses after a traffic stop on River Road early Monday morning.

Robert Joseph Helrigel Jr., 39, is charged with trafficking meth, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a schedule I through V narcotic, unlawful carry, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to arrest warrants.


“A deputy pulled Helrigel over for a traffic violation,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “The deputy immediately smelled marijuana coming from inside Helrigel’s car, which established probable cause to search the car.”

The deputy found a rifle and a handgun inside Helrigel’s car, according to Koon.

“Helrigel had a box in his car with about 625 grams of meth inside,” Koon said. “In a separate bag, there was about 100 grams of fentanyl. The deputy also found scales and packaging items typically used in the sale of drugs, along with $600 in cash.”

Helrigel was arrested at the scene. He’s being held in the Lexington County Detention Center.