Troopers seize many pounds of marijuana in February
February 26, 2010
From two traffic stops in Summit County in February the Utah Highway Patrol seized about 140 pounds of marijuana, the authorities said.
The trunk of a Chevrolet Impala contained about 30 pounds of marijuana when it was stopped on eastbound Interstate 80 near Tollgate Canyon Feb. 22 at about 1:04 a.m., said Cameron Roden, a spokesman for the Utah Highway Patrol.
"The trooper had responded to retrieve a deer carcass out of traffic," Roden said. "The Chevy Impala went by him and failed to slow down and move over. The Impala also had on high beams and did not dim."
The driver identified himself as an Army infantryman traveling from Monterey, Calif., to Fort Carson, Colo., Roden said.
"It was a rental car," Roden said. "The driver stated that he had been in California for a week visiting family, and in doing the math, the story didn’t add up."
The suspect was nervous when the trooper asked him what was in the trunk, Roden said.
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"He stated there were a couple bags in the truck. But he stated the two bags weren’t his," Roden said.
The suspect told the officer the packages were being delivered to another soldier. The driver gave the trooper permission to search the car, Roden said.
"As soon as he popped the trunk they could smell the odor of raw marijuana," Roden said. "Thirty pounds was located in two Army duffle bags."
A 32-year-old soldier in Fort Carson, Colo., is facing a drug charge in the case, according to Roden.
Meanwhile, the Highway Patrol seized about 110 pounds of marijuana from a Dodge stopped on eastbound Interstate 80 near Coalville Feb. 2 at about 9:52 a.m., Roden said.
"The trooper stopped him for speeding," Roden said.
The driver of the car, Iowa resident Matthew A. Harbeck, 25, was charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, which is a third-degree felony. On Feb. 22, Harbeck appeared in 3rd District Court and was ordered to serve 150 days in jail and pay a $2,500 fine.
The passenger in the vehicle, Iowa resident Timothy P. Kavanagh, 24, is charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, which is a third-degree felony. A roll call hearing for Kavanagh is scheduled in 3rd District Court March 1.
"As the trooper was talking to them he noticed several things," Roden said. "He asked for the usual information, as far as insurance and a driver’s license, and the driver said that he didn’t have a license."
The men were extremely nervous, Roden said.
"They were visibly trembling at times," he said. "The trooper started talking to them about the details of their trip and it sounds like they started offering contradicting stories about what they had been doing It sounds like they were on their way back to Sioux City, Iowa."
The car was rented and there were multiple cellular phones inside the vehicle, Roden said.
"As the trooper spoke with them, the driver actually told him that there was marijuana in the vehicle," Roden said.
The trooper found marijuana inside the hatchback compartment, he added. The men were booked into the Summit County jail.
"It’s a good-sized bust," Roden said.