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Fill 'er up - with marijuana? Pot found in gas tank

Published February 18, 2009 7:33 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Utah man couldn't figure out why his gas gauge always showed his tank half full. Now police are involved, after it was discovered that the SUV's tank contained 35 pounds of marijuana.

The man bought a 2009 Nissan Armada about a week ago, said Sandy police Sgt. Justin Chapman. Mystified by the tank, he took the car in for a warranty repair at Tim Dahle Nissan in Sandy on Monday. Workers removed the tank, and that's when they made a surprise discovery: the tank was half-full of tightly-wrapped packages of marijuana.

It has a street value of about $35,000, Chapman said.

The pot appeared to have been in the tank several months, because even though it was tightly wrapped, some gas had leaked through the packaging. Tracing the drugs back and making an arrest will be complicated, Chapman said, because the car was originally a rental.

It was put up for auction, and had been sold repeatedly since then. The man is not a suspect, and neither is the dealership he bought it from, which was not the same place the car was repaired. Police are looking for clues on the wrapping, and investigating whether another state might have an open case on the pot.

With the drugs removed, the car should now be in good working order, Chapman said.