Authorities in Utah seized hundreds of pounds of drugs and made dozens of arrests during a major enforcement effort earlier this month.
The operation took place August 9 — 11 on I-80 in Toole County, Utah, state and federal officials said during a Wednesday press conference. The operation is part of a larger federally funded drug enforcement detail called the Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program.
Officials said that the purpose of the enforcement effort was to “provide a safe and secure environment for motorists on Interstate 80 through high volume traffic enforcement and providing public safety services, while identifying indicators of any crime, threat or hazard to Utah citizens and motorists and legally investigate suspicious circumstances.”
During the three day operation, troopers conducted 289 traffic stops. Fifty-two people were arrested on misdemeanor charges. Seventeen others were arrested on felony charges.
Authorities also seized 556 pounds of marijuana, 37 pounds of THC edibles, 320 pounds of THC vape cartridges, and two hand guns during the operation.
Much of the seized marijuana came from a semi truck, according to a press release from the Utah Department of Public Safety:
An employee at the port of entry at Wendover noticed something amiss with a semi-truck and called for a Trooper to investigate. A probable cause search of the vehicle yielded 341 pounds of raw marijuana, 1200 THC vape cartridges, 150 THC chocolate bars, and 126 packages of other edibles.
“This is a semi-truck full of drugs,” said US Attorney John Huber, “that when stacked together compares in size to a Trooper’s cruiser.”
The operation was conducted as a partnership between the Utah Highway Patrol, the Utah Department of Public Safety, the Utah State Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office – District of Utah.