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Sharp-nosed K-9 alerts to 145 kg of cannabis during traffic stop

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Man faces felony possession and intent to distribute cannabis charges

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A minor vehicle violation has led to a major offence for a 42-year-old man now facing felony cannabis charges in Michigan.

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Citing the probable cause document, ABC 4 reports a trooper with Utah Highway Patrol stopped the driver on Interstate 80 after noticing the vehicle had both an obstructed licence plate and no mud flaps. The out-of-state driver was reported to be from Springfield, Ill., according to KSL.

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While checking things out, though, the officer reportedly grew suspicious and opted to call in a K-9 to determine if there were any drugs on board, per ABC 4. The dog’s trusty nose alerted that there were and, as it turns out, plenty of them.

  1. Police report the 26-year-old was trying to burn a spider using his lighter.

    Cannabis-toting man’s bid to burn spider sparks wildfire

  2. The person who was cultivating the plants has been contacted and the police investigation is continuing. / PHOTO BY CARBON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

    This little piggy leads deputies weed, weed, weed all the way to grow-op

  3. Police found the accused at a grocery store in Provo.

    This entrepreneurial “god” gets nabbed for drug dealing via Snapchat

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A vehicle search revealed garbage bags holding both cannabis and related products. Specifically, the police found a little more than 146,322 kilograms of raw cannabis, 748 commercially packaged THC vape cartridges, 2 kg of THC edibles and 330 grams of THC resin, multiple news outlets report.

Recreational cannabis is illegal in Utah, with possession of up to 454 grams treated as a misdemeanour that can carry both jail time and a fine, per information from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

Anything over that amount becomes a felony, with the top penalty for possessing more than 45 kg being one to 15 years in prison and a US$10,000 ($13,600) fine, NORML reports.

Selling any amount of the substance, however, is charged as a felony carrying a top penalty of five years in prison and a US$5,000 ($6,800) fine.

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According to Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, “Although many states around Utah have legalized or at least decriminalized marijuana, Utah has taken a different approach by continuing to arrest people for possessing even small amounts of marijuana. Utah also has a mandatory driver’s licence suspension for any marijuana conviction such as simple possession, intent to distribute, and driving under the influence of marijuana.”

ABC 4 reports the trooper confirmed the driver did not have a medical marijuana card.

In the state, medicinal cannabis is legal for those possessing a related card and who have a qualifying condition. These include HIV, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, epilepsy or debilitating seizures, autism, multiple sclerosis or persistent and debilitating muscle spasms, post-traumatic stress disorder being treated and monitored by a licensed health therapist and a terminal illness when the patient’s life expectancy is less than six months.

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The driver faces the felony counts of possessing 45 kg or more of cannabis and possession with intent to distribute, KSL reports, as well as was cited for the minor infractions of not having mud flaps on a vehicle and having an unsafe vehicle/faulty equipment.

Traffic stops and drug-sniffing canines have proved a formidable duo when it comes to finding illegal weed.

Social media darling Toby, a male yellow lab working with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office in California, alerted that something was up with a shipment a few years back. Officers then discovered just shy of 136 kg of cannabis, 5,945 THC vape cartridges, marijuana edibles, weed concentrates and cash.

In Nebraska last year, a routine traffic stop near Wahoo turned into a record-setting cannabis bust for the Saunders County Sheriff’s Office. A K-9 unit was called in to check out a suspicious U-Haul and the dog’s dependable nose sniffed out 358 vacuum-sealed bags of weed weighing almost 181 kg.

And back in 2018, the New York Post reported that a Chicago police dog helped collar a drug trafficker who was transporting about 680 kg of cannabis and other THC products in a pickup truck.

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