TOOELE — A Utah Highway Patrol trooper said he could smell marijuana while walking up to a vehicle he had just pulled over.
A subsequent search of the car yielded 313 pounds of marijuana, according to a police booking affidavit.
On Sunday, a car was stopped on I-80 in Tooele County for having an expired registration. "As I approached the vehicle I detected the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle," the trooper wrote in the affidavit.
The driver attempted to lock the car after stepping out of the vehicle and "attempted to conceal the keys in his groin area to prevent the vehicle from being searched," the affidavit says.
When agents from the State Bureau of Investigation searched the vehicle, they reported finding 313 1-pound packages of marijuana.
The driver, Carnell Meredith, 51, told investigators that he knew he had marijuana in the car but he didn't know how much, the affidavit states. He was arrested for investigation of drug possession with intent to distribute, having more than 100 pounds of marijuana and failing to register his vehicle.
"The suspect has been arrested for similar crimes before. He lives outside of the state and gave two separate addresses during the investigation. This suspect is highly likely to flee the jurisdiction if released," the trooper wrote.
The large marijuana bust is similar to other cases in Utah in recent months.
Two men were recently charged in federal court in Utah after police say they were caught with 270 pounds of marijuana in their vehicle. In January, a couple who claimed they were driving home from a funeral in California was arrested in Summit County after police reported finding more than 100 pounds of marijuana in their car.