A traffic stop by Utah Highway Patrol troopers netted a considerable amount of marijuana and charges against four out-of-state men.
Christopher James Harris, 39, of Kentucky; Christopher Scott Eichenlaub, 29, of Florida; Dennis Richard Pullen, 41, of Kentucky; and Justin Israel Perez, 40, also of Kentucky, are each charged with second-degree felony use or possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor use or possession of drug paraphernalia.
A UHP trooper stopped a tan Nissan Infiniti for following too closely and failure to signal for two seconds prior to changing lanes around 5 p.m. on Nov. 15, according to a probable cause statement. At this time, the trooper observed a Chevrolet Avalanche and a silver SUV with a temporary permit out of Oregon, which appeared to be traveling with the Infiniti.
When the trooper made contact with the driver in the Infiniti, they began to smell the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, the statement said. Pullen was identified as the driver of the vehicle and he told the trooper they were traveling from Oregon to Kentucky.
After the trooper had Pullen step out of the vehicle and into the back of his patrol car, he questioned Pullen about the odor of marijuana, the statement said. Pullen admitted to there being a half ounce of marijuana in the vehicle.
During a search of the vehicle, the trooper discovered a handheld radio and a green plastic container and two white plastic bags containing marijuana, according to the probable cause statement. The trooper questioned Pullen and a passenger in the vehicle about the involvement with the two other vehicles after seeing the radio and they said there was additional marijuana inside the vehicles.
UHP troopers caught up with the two SUVs at the Delle gas station and the occupants of both vehicles were detained, the statement said. Perez and Eichenlaub were in the SUV and Harris was driving the Avalanche.
In the silver SUV, troopers found three bottles of hash, one jar of marijuana and a medicine bottle with Eichenlaub’s name on it, the statement said. In the truck, troopers found two bags of edibles and three duffle bags filled with vacuum-sealed marijuana inside. Troopers also found matching hand-held radios to the one found in the Infiniti.
In all, the truck contained 111 vacuum-sealed marijuana packages, 16 pounds of edibles and 500 vape cartridges, the probable cause statement said.
Harris, Eichenlaub, Pullen and Perez are scheduled to make their initial appearance in 3rd District Court on Dec. 3 at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Matthew Bates.