• According to charging documents of cases highlighted by Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Bates, while at a rest stop on Interstate 80 in Summit County on Dec. 22, Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Chamberlain Neff spoke to the driver of a nearby vehicle to see if he needed assistance.

    During the conversation, he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle. The driver, Long Hoang, 22, from California, told Neff his name was Tomvu Hoang and provided a driver's license bearing that name, but his appearance did not match the picture on the driver's license.

    The passenger, Tung Nguyen, 19, from California, told the trooper when questioned that the driver's name was Tomvu. When Neff confronted the driver about the discrepancy with the picture on the driver's license, Hoang admitted to his real name, and said he had provided a false name because he did not have a driver's license.

    A search of the vehicle revealed five pounds of marijuana in the vehicle's trunk and 10 grams of marijuana in a mason jar in the vehicle's back seat.

    Hoang was charged on Jan. 3 with third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, class A misdemeanor giving false personal identity to a peace officer and class C misdemeanor no driver's license in possession.

    Nguyen was charged on Jan. 3 with third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and class A misdemeanor providing false personal information to a peace officer.

    Both Hoang's and Nguyen's initial court appearances are scheduled Feb. 4.

  • Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Tom Simpson pulled a Ford Fusion over on I-80 in Summit County on Nov. 10 for following another vehicle too closely. While conversing with the driver, Johan M. Ekstrom, 31, from Clio, Mich., and the passenger, Richard D. Henning II, 29, from Munroe, Mich., Simpson could smell marijuana coming from inside the car.

    Ekstrom admitted to having "a little" marijuana in a case on the back seat. Simpson located the case, which contained two glass marijuana pipes, a metal grinder, rolling papers, hash and 5 grams of marijuana.

    During a probable search of the rest of the car, Simpson discovered 40 pounds of raw marijuana in the trunk, along with six air fresheners, vacuum-seal plastic bags, two scales and a vacuum-seal bag pump. Simpson also found a green prescription bottle containing a marijuana bud on the passenger floorboard.

    Ekstrom admitted that he had purchased the marijuana in Laytonville, Calif. And that he was transporting it to Michigan, where he planned to sell it to medical marijuana dispensaries. He said Henning was traveling with him to provide security.

    Ekstrom was charged with third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, class B misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and class C misdemeanor following too close.

    Ekstrom's charge was amended to third-degree felony possession or use of a controlled substance and both misdemeanors were dismissed. Ekstrom pled guilty to the amended charge.

    Henning also pled guilty to a charge of third-degree felony possession or use of a controlled substance.

    Both men were sentenced on Jan. 7 to 30 days in the Summit County Jail and 30 days probation.

  • A Nissan Altima was stopped on Landmark Drive in the Kimball Junction on Dec. 22 for a revoked registration and no insurance. Deputy Zachary Nakaishi requested the name and birthday of the passenger, Airlon Eschelle Cook, 28, of West Valley City.

    Cook provided the requested information, but the photograph from a driver's license record of the given name did not match the appearance of the passenger.

    When confronted about the discrepancy, the passenger admitted to her real name and said she had used her sister's name and birth date because she knew the driver had warrants and was going to be arrested. She wanted to retain possession of the car, but did not have a driver's license.

    Cook was charged on Jan. 3 for giving false information to a peace officer, a class A misdemeanor.

    Cook has a pretrial conference scheduled Feb. 4.

  • Frank Joseph Curtis, 36, from St. Louis, Mo., was pulled over on June 18 for driving 75 mph on a 70 mph area of I-80 in Summit County. The trooper smelled raw marijuana when he approached the car. A vehicle search revealed 50 pounds of marijuana in individual one-pound bags.

    Curtis was charged with third-degree possession or use of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and class C misdemeanor speeding. He pled guilty to the first offense and the second offense was dismissed. He was sentenced on Jan. 7 to 45 days in the Summit County Jail and 45 days of probation.