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Traffic stops net big drug hauls for Utah troopers

Published May 19, 2014 7:41 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As a result of traffic of traffic stops during the past five weeks, Utah Highway Patrol troopers have seized nearly 1,000 pounds of illegal drugs — including 882 pounds of marijuana, 76 pounds of methamphetamine, 12 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms and 1,000 MDMA/ecstasy pills.

One such traffic stop occurred on the afternoon of May 13, when a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol pulled over two men in a car on Interstate 15 in Box Elder County, according to a Utah Department of Public Safety news release.

The driver and passenger, both of Salt Lake City were taken to jail on outstanding warrants. During an inventory of the vehicle, prior to being impounded, approximately 10 pounds of packaged psilocybin mushrooms were found.

The trooper contacted agents with the Utah State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), who interviewed the two men and found they were involved in drug distribution and had more psilocybin mushrooms at their residence.

SBI agents contacted detectives with the Salt Lake County Metro Gang Unit, who obtained a search warrant for the home. Later that evening, gang unit and SBI officers executed a "knock and announce" warrant at the residence, resulting in the seizure of an additional two pounds of psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, and two firearms — an SKS 7.62mm assault rifle and a GSG5 .22-caliber rifle).

"We have worked strategically to bring UHP and the State Bureau of Investigation together as a more seamless and efficient DPS resource," according to Utah Department of Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires. "I am very pleased with the quality of our investigations. We are significantly impacting drug trafficker's ability to operate in or through Utah."