Traffic stop leads to 17 pound seizure on I80 |

Traffic stop leads to 17 pound seizure on I80

More than $25,000 worth of marijuana was seized last week in eastern Summit County as part of an ongoing effort by local law enforcement agencies to reduce drug trafficking along the Interstate 80 corridor.

According to the Park City Police Department, Cory Blanchard, 31, of Wichita, Kansas, and Andrew Galliher, 28, of Westland, Oregon, were arrested Aug. 27 on preliminary charges of felony possession of a controlled substance. Blanchard, who was driving, was also cited for three traffic violations.

At 11:34 a.m., a Park City police officer working on a joint-drug operation with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office stopped a white Chevy Cruz with New Jersey license plates for a lane violation. The stop was made near milepost 170 in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80, about a mile past the Interstate 84 interchange.

During the stop, the officer summoned a K9 officer who found approximately 17 pounds of a drug suspected to be marijuana, 136 grams of a concentrated extract suspected to be marijuana, also known as dabs, and a marijuana pipe.

Phil Kirk, a Park City Police Department captain, said the officer who conducted the stop only recently joined the joint operation team. It was the officer’s second bust, Kirk said.

For several years, Park City police officers have been assigned to work with the Sheriff’s Office on a regular basis to further reduce drug trafficking on Interstate 80, which serves as a pipeline between the Midwest and California, Kirk said.

"This was another effort to get those drugs off the streets by stopping them as they are being transported through that corridor," Kirk said. "We wish the stops were more frequent. We are trying to put forth the effort with the Sheriff’s Office to do what we can."

Sheriff Justin Martinez said the agencies have a "great relationship" and all work very closely together. Martinez said because of that relationship, the agencies are able to provide support to each other in situations like this. Martinez said the two agencies share a common goal of reducing crime and drugs on the street.

"I look at the Park City Police Department as an extension of the Sheriff’s Office and vice versa," Martinez said. "And because of that we are able to provide support to each other when we have a situation like this."