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Brian Champagne, KSL

Utah troopers find more than 350 pounds of pot, 25 pounds of meth, in 24 hours

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Updated - Nov 20th, 2019 @ 4:20pm | Posted - Nov 20th, 2019 @ 12:48pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — Two men were charged Wednesday with transporting about 150 pounds of marijuana through Utah.

The charges come on the heels of an active 24 hours for Utah Highway Patrol troopers, particularly in Summit County, where more than 350 pounds of marijuana were seized along with hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to police.

Robert Dale Clark, 43, of Ozark, Missouri, and Edward Knowlton Green, 33, of Bloomington, Illinois, were each charged Wednesday in Summit County’s 3rd District Court with possession of more than 100 pounds of marijuana, a second-degree felony.

The men were pulled over in their Dodge pickup on I-80 for a traffic violation on Oct. 25, according to charging documents. While talking with the men, the Utah Highway Patrol trooper suspected possible drug activity, according to a Summit County Jail booking affidavit.

Drug-sniffing police K-9 “Bear” was used to check the vehicle and “hit” on the truck bed.

“Under the locked truck bed cover I located six large duffle bags that contained approximately 150 pounds of raw marijuana,” the affidavit states. “A continuing search revealed three packages of vacuum-sealed U,S, currency. Each sealed package was was labeled with the dollar amount. According to the packages there was a total of $124,000.”

A further search of the vehicle revealed $4,000 more in a bag in the center console, according to the affidavit.

The charges come on the heels of several other significant drug busts by UHP troopers on Tuesday, particularly in Summit County.

Just after 1 a.m., Marcus Lavonia Harden Jr., 26, was arrested for investigation of drug possession and money laundering. Harden was pulled over on I-70 near Richfield for a suspended registration, according to a jail booking affidavit.

Drug-sniffing police K-9 “Hasso” was brought to the scene and indicated the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. Although only a small amount of marijuana was found, troopers “located approximately $20,000-$30,000 cash in the trunk of the vehicle. The money was rubber banded in different increments and consistent with drug proceeds. We also located a large empty duffel bag in the trunk, lined with dryer sheets and contained small pieces of marijuana, consistent with bags used to transport large quantities of marijuana,” the affidavit states.

Just after 2 a.m., a vehicle with Missouri plates was pulled over for traffic violations, including going too slow on I-80 in Summit County, according to a jail booking affidavit. When approaching the vehicle, the troopers immediately suspected there may be drugs in the vehicle and noticed large duffel bags in the back, the affidavit states.

Both the driver and passenger claimed they did not know what was in the bags, according to the affidavit.

“We found that one bag was completely full of sealed bags of marijuana,” the affidavit states. “At the office we searched the vehicle and located nine big bags that all were full of marijuana.”

At least 156 pounds of marijuana was seized from the vehicle, troopers wrote in their affidavit.

Jessica Munoz, 29, and Ayham Al Horani, 22, were arrested for investigation of having more than 100 pounds of marijuana.

About 11 a.m. on Tuesday, another car was pulled over on I-80 in Summit County for speeding. In that vehicle, troopers discovered approximately 25 pounds of meth, according to a jail booking affidavit. Kevin Alexander Almendars, 27, and Fredy Elisea Barriga, 18, were arrested for investigation of drug distribution.

Just before 3 p.m., Timothy James Stansell was arrested for investigation of drug distribution and money laundering after he was pulled over on I-80 in Summit County for speeding. Troopers again used “Bear” to check the car and found “five empty duffel bags which field-tested positive marijuana ... and approximately $100,000 in cash. The cash was vacuum sealed three times and divided into $10,000 dollar stacks.”

About 11:30 p.m., a motorhome was pulled over on I-80 after drifting out of its lane six times, according to a booking affidavit. A search of the vehicle turned up 203 pounds of marijuana, the affidavit states. John Pierce Parkinson, 34, was arrested for investigation of possessing more than 100 pounds of marijuana.

On Monday, Justin Michael-Erik Taylor, 32, was arrested for investigation of drug distribution, possession of drug paraphernalia, and impeding traffic. Taylor was pulled over on I-80 in Summit County for going below the speed limit in the left lane, according to a jail booking affidavit.

“The vehicle speed was so slow it was impeding traffic of the five other vehicles traveling in the left lane,” the affidavit states.

A search conducted with the assistance of a police K-9 turned up 44 pounds of marijuana, separated in 44, 1-pound vacuum bags, according to the affidavit.

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Pat Reavy

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