SALT LAKE CITY — When a Utah Highway Patrol trooper asked the passenger of a vehicle if there were drugs in her car, she replied “not that I know of,” according to charging documents.
Right away, the trooper suspected otherwise.
“I don’t recall a time where someone has used that specific phrase and I have not found narcotics in the vehicle. I encounter this statement regularly,” the trooper said in court documents.
A subsequent search of the vehicle turned up 225 pounds of marijuana, “a large amount of cash, two clear plastic baggies with contents that tested positive for cocaine, one plastic bag with content that tested positive for methamphetamine, one bag with content that tested positive for LSD, and a straw with white residue inside,” the charges state.
On Thursday, Dax David Brown, 45, and Diedre Lynn Diamond, 55, both of Louisville, Kentucky, were charged with possession of 100 or more pounds of marijuana, a second-degree felony. Brown was charged additionally with three counts of drug possession, a class A misdemeanor, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.
On Wednesday, Brown was pulled over by a UHP trooper on I-84 for changing lanes without properly signaling, according to court records.
“I observed large gray bags that appeared in the shape of a rectangle and had been duct taped closed. I recognized this from my training and experience to be how large amounts of narcotics are packaged and transported. It appeared these packages lined the whole inside of the van,” the trooper wrote in charging documents.
Brown claimed he had just come from Burning Man in Nevada. But the trooper knew it was the wrong time of year for the annual festival, the charges state.
After all of the drugs in the vehicle were discovered, “Dax saw us looking at that (and) he stated, ‘I don’t need a lawyer to tell you that is all mine,'” according to the charges.
The large pot bust is one of several UHP troopers have made recently.
On April 16, a traffic stop on I-80 near Coalville resulted in the discovery of 356 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $890,000 in the bed of a pickup truck.
On March 22, just under 200 pounds of marijuana was seized after a car was stopped for speeding in almost the same place as the April bust, according to court documents. That shipment was believed to have originated in Medford, Oregon, and was headed to Illinois, court documents state.
While UHP officials can’t recall what the record is for a marijuana bust for their department, Lt. Todd Royce did recall one incident in which 600 pounds was seized.