IRON COUNTY — A standard traffic stop on Interstate 15 near mile marker 86 led Utah Highway Patrol to arrest two men Friday morning on felony drug charges.
At 10:15 a.m., a silver Ford Focus, traveling northbound on I-15, was pulled over by UHP Trooper Scott Mackelprang for a left lane traveling issue. As Mackelprang approached the vehicle he could smell a strong odor of marijuana, UHP Sgt. Mary Kay Lucas said.
There were four people inside the vehicle: the driver, Gabriel Adrian Solis, 19, of Sanger, California; Jose Javier Gomez, 21, of Selma, California; along with two juveniles, who said they were traveling from Fresno, California.
After obtaining permission to search the car, Mackelprang discovered 40 pounds of marijuana inside several pieces of luggage, which is one of the most common places people hide large quantities of illegal drugs these days, Lucas said.
“It used to be found in smaller compartments,” she said. “But nowadays it’s almost always found in luggage.”
As for the normality of the quantity, 40 pounds of marijuana is about the average seize along I-15, which still does not discredit how much space this amount can occupy considering that one contained pound of marijuana stands about equivalent to the size of a shoebox.
“Marijuana is all leafy. One pound takes up a lot of room,” Lucas said. “But still we don’t get too excited unless we find over 100 pounds.”
Regardless, seizes of large quantities allow for the opportunity to obtain information that could lead to other arrests or to trace the drugs back to where they came from.
Solis and Gomez were both arrested and booked into the Iron County Jail.
Gomez was charged with a third-degree felony for possession of marijuana, a second-degree felony for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and a class-B misdemeanor for possession of paraphernalia.
In addition to the above charges, Solis was charged with a class-C misdemeanor for lane travel. Bail has not yet been set by the judge for either Gomez or Solis. No information pertaining to the juveniles was reported.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
Ed. note: UHP Trooper Scott Mackelprang was incorrectly named as Mackelburg in this report. His name has been corrected with our apologies.
- Probation violation leads to felony drug bust, ‘Drug Free Zone’ enhancement
- Retail theft leads to felony drug bust
- Drug bust leads police to child pornography, assault, domestic violence
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.