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CEDAR CITY — A minor traffic violation led to a huge drug bust for Utah Highway Patrol troopers in southern Utah on Monday.
A van with an Ohio license plate was pulled over on I-15 south of Cedar City for investigation of following a semitruck too closely and distracted driving, according to a police booking affidavit.
"I asked him what he was transporting and he provided me paperwork for hemp that appeared to be fake. I asked the driver for consent to search the vehicle and he consented. I opened one of the barrels in the back and found that it possessed packages that appeared to be marijuana," the arresting trooper wrote in the affidavit.
The driver was arrested and his van seized for a more thorough search. Investigators found approximately 307 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle, the affidavit states.
Quinin Anthony Ranford, 32, of Ohio, was booked into the Iron County Jail for investigation of possessing more than 100 pounds of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police say Ranford was recently arrested for investigation of drug distribution, according to the affidavit, but it offers no details on when or where.