Trooper spots jar of marijuana in glove box as driver retrieves vehicle registration during traffic stop

UHP vehicle is damaged when trooper stops wrong-way driver on I-15 near Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 16, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two Michigan men are in jail after a routine traffic stop Thursday led to a search of their vehicle and discovery of several pounds of marijuana and other drugs, as well as an outstanding felony warrant for the passenger.

L to R: Adonis A. Brooks of Lansing, Mich. and Kalil K Anderson of Kalamazoo, Mich., booking photos posted in Washington County, Utah, Feb. 28, 2019 | Photos courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

At 1:35 a.m. a vehicle was stopped on southbound I-15 at Exit 4 for a traffic violation when the trooper smelled “burnt marijuana” while speaking to the driver, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nick Street said.

The trooper then noticed “a jar of raw marijuana” located in the glove compartment when the driver, later identified as Adonis Brooks of Lansing, Michigan, retrieved the vehicle registration and insurance information.

Meanwhile, a records check came back with an active felony warrant for the passenger, Khalil Anderson of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The driver was given a field sobriety test which “he didn’t do very well on,” and at that point both men were placed under arrest.

During a subsequent search of the vehicle troopers found 8 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of the car concealed in a duffel bag along with schedule 1 drugs found inside of the vehicle.

The men were taken to Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked for multiple offenses. Brooks faces one third-degree felony count of distribution of marijuana and three class B misdemeanors for driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

In addition to the out-of-state felony warrant, the passenger, Adonis, also faces second-degree felony possession with intent to distribute a schedule 1 drug along with two class B misdemeanor offenses: possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

In Utah, 8 pounds of marijuana has a street value that is anywhere from $20,000 to more than $40,000, depending on the quality, according to information obtained from Narcotic News.

This particular traffic stop was part of a sweep by the Utah Highway Patrol’s DUI squad that was in St. George Tuesday and Wednesday. The squad has about a dozen troopers tasked specifically with finding drunk or otherwise impaired drivers on the state’s highways.

Created in 1994 in response to an increase in alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities, the DUI squad  makes a semi-annual trek to Southern Utah and has no specific schedule, is not dispatched by a communications center, has no designated area of patrol, nor do they run records checks with every traffic stop.

Instead, the team concentrates its efforts on observation.

The heavy law enforcement presence is intended to act as a deterrent while raising community awareness to the dangers of driving while impaired – it can even make some drivers reconsider getting into their vehicle after too many drinks, one trooper said in a previous interview.

There were more than a dozen arrests for alcohol and drug-related offenses made by the squad during the two-night sting operation.

This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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