I-80 is a Drug Trafficking Corridor?
One of the most frustrating things about law enforcement in Salt Lake City is how they treat the entire I-80 freeway as a “drug trafficking corridor.” Highway patrol, sheriff deputies, and city police all look for cars with out of state license plates or rental cars being driven by a single young male. They then find any reason they can, which is not hard, to pull over that car and search it. The reason for the search nearly always comes in one of two forms: (1) the law enforcement officer has a drug sniffing K-9 that is run around the car and without fail “hits” on the car; or (2) the law enforcement officer smells the odor of marijuana. Either one of those factors permits police to conduct an full search of your vehicle.
Law enforcement focuses on I-80 because it links the East with the West so people picking up drugs in California drive through Utah to drop them off in Chicago. California produces a lot of marijuana that is carried across Utah to other states and to Utah itself. Thus, highway patrol and other are always looking out for out of state license plates on cars driven by single young men. Many of these couriers have a lot of weed and/or other substances. Weed seems to be the most common. If you’re carrying pounds of marijuana you’ll get charged with felony drug distribution charges.
Our Attorneys Can Help.
Defending against distribution charges where the drugs were seized as the result of a vehicle stop usually center around the nature of the stop and the search. The United States Supreme Court has given law enforcement so much room to conduct searches of vehicles with just the bare minimum of probable cause that you really need to get legal counsel who knows the intricacies of defending against Utah drug distribution charges. Call our law firm at 801.618.1334 to find out what our criminal defense lawyers can do for you.