UHP trooper allegedly finds $18K in cash concealed in 33 pounds of marijuana during traffic stop

ST. GEORGE — Two men from Pennsylvania were arrested after 33 pounds of marijuana and other THC products were allegedly found inside their vehicle on Interstate 15 Tuesday evening.

L-R: Wade Dustin Dommel, 25, and Gage Matthew Lefever, 22, both from Pequea, Pa., booking photos posted in Iron County, Utah, Sept. 3, 2019 | Photos courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The arrests occurred when a Utah Highway Patrol trooper stopped the vehicle heading north on I-15 near mile marker 60. The trooper became suspicious as he spoke to the driver when he noticed the odor of “marijuana coming from inside the car,” according to the probable cause statement submitted to the Iron County Attorney’s Office for review. He also noticed a stack of cardboard boxes in the back seat and a passenger who was lying across the rear seat.

While speaking with the driver, later identified as Wade Dommel, of Pequea, Pennsylvania, the trooper noticed signs of an “abnormally high” sense of nervousness. During the conversation, the report states that the driver told the trooper he had a large quantity of marijuana in the pickup.

After speaking to the passenger, later identified as Gage Lafever, also of Pequea, the trooper noted several discrepancies between the two men’s accounts. During a search of the pickup truck, the trooper allegedly found approximately 33 pounds of raw marijuana, nearly 1,300 THC vape cartridges, 122 marijuana cigars, 1,000 ml of THC distillate, 98 grams of THC shatter and more than $18,000 in cash concealed within the drugs.

After the search, one of the suspects allegedly admitted to the trooper that the currency was the balance left over from the $61,000 purchase of the marijuana products they were transporting. The suspect told police he “intended to double his investment” once he got the drugs to Pennsylvania, the trooper wrote in the statement.

Following their arrest, the men were booked into the Iron County Jail where each face one third-degree felony count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and two misdemeanors for possession of a controlled substance-marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. Dommel also faces one second-degree felony count of money laundering and two traffic citations for speeding and license plate not being visible. Lefever was cited for failing to wear a seat belt.

The vehicle the men were traveling in was impounded by police.

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

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