Despite the nationwide movement toward marijuana legalization, it is still illegal to possess the drug in Utah, even in small quantities. And it is definitely illegal to have over 50 pounds in your possession.
That's how much marijuana was seized by the authorities on Wednesday, Nov. 13, when the Park City Police Department, working in conjunction with the Summit County Sheriff's Office on a Drug Enforcement Agency task force, stopped a vehicle along the I-80 corridor.
Pancho J. Alviar, 36 years old, was the driver of the stopped vehicle, "a blue VW sedan," according to the Park City Police Department. He is reportedly from Wisconsin.
Alviar was stopped by the authorities for a traffic violation near Coalville at 7:19 p.m. last Wednesday. He was stopped for following too close to a vehicle ahead of him and for failure to signal a lane change, according to Captain Phil Kirk of the Park City Police Department.
There were additional "things that were suspicious" to the on-scene officers, according to Kirk, after which a K-9 unit helped the task force discover four large duffel bags containing over 51 pounds of marijuana in the automobile's trunk, along with a smaller amount of hashish and paraphernalia.
The Drug Enforcement Agency task force operates "on a regular basis," according to Kirk.
Following the discovery and seizure of the drugs, Alviar was "arrested and booked into the Summit County Jail," according to the police report, and charged with four violations of the Utah Controlled Substances Act.