Marijuana Trafficking Rising on I-86

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Updated: 2/11/2013 10:50 pm
Earlier today the idaho state police stopped a 1999 chevrolet pickup for a traffic violation on interstate 86 near american falls. During the investigation the officer discovered 1.45 pounds of marijuana. Police say this is a growing problem after a number surrounding states have recenlty legalized marijuana use in some forms. Our reporter Summer Joy gives us further insight into this case and the situation.  

40 year old Christopher A. Reynolds of California was arrested and charged with a felony possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver and also with possession of drug paraphernalia. The marijuana seized has a street value of around 4 thousand dollars.

Talking with Idaho State Police, they say this is an increasing issue; in fact, marijuana trafficking through Idaho has increased 2 thousand percent since 2011.

I-86 is a major highway that goes from east to west that could be why some drug smugglers find it so attractive. Other hot spots for getting caught include on I 90 and US 30. Captain Eric Dayle, not only credits his men for doing their job well, but because we are surrounded by other states that allow medical marijuana, like Montana and Oregon. 

"I think you can make that conclusion because other states have legalized marijuana in one form to another, like Washington has legalized for recreational use, so has Colorado. So if you're going to transport marijuana from Washington to Colorado you're probably going to have to go through Idaho," said Captain Eric Dayley with the Idaho State Police.   
 
Captain Dayle hopes that Idaho will think twice before legalizing marijuana.

"There is a lot of problems that come with the legalization of marijuana, some of the states that have done it are experience it, some think it's going to stop organize crime and things like that but actually it the same or even more because now the organize crime see a market where they can market their goods," added Captain Dayley.

Some drivers that get pulled over in Idaho have a medical marijuana card believe that gives them the right to possess across state lines, but because in Idaho it is still illegal you can serve up to five years in prison and have to pay a hefty fine.  Each case is decided on an individual basis.

"We are doing everything we can to stop the flow of illegal flow of drugs through our state because some of those don't just pass through our state, but stay in our state. There are people who would buy it here, of course, just as anywhere else so we are just trying to get all those drugs off our streets and make our streets safer," said Captain Dayley.

The case that happened earlier today is an ongoing investigation and the idaho state police encourages you if you see a drunk driver or someone driving recklessly dial star I-S-P.  
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BillG883 - 2/12/2013 4:04 PM
0 Votes
Is it that marijuana trafficking increased so much (2000%), or is it that highway interdiction efforts have increased? There were plenty of pot smokers in 2011 and before, and pot was being moved all around the country. I live on a state line where for a few years highway interdiction officers were seizing thousands of pounds of pot a year. The drugs were moving East and the money was going West on the Interstate Highway. It was almost all Mexican pot, loads from a few dozen pounds to over a ton. Two or three hundred pounds in the trunk of a car was the norm. The local police and sheriff's department had permission to be on the highway with their dogs along with the state troopers. They were pulling out of state vehicles over left and right and running the dogs around, especially Hispanics from Arizona, California and New Mexico, Colorado too. I was a public defender, handled many thousands of pounds worth of these drug mule cases. Then things just started drying up. I think the people in charge of transporting the weed must have wised up and started bypassing that little four mile stretch of highway where all the busts were occurring. Does that mean marijuana trafficking through our state dropped off? Heck no. There’s just as much pot as there ever was here and East of us. They’re just not seizing nearly as much of it, here at least. You can’t tell how much trafficking is going on by the number of seizures that are made or the quantities seized.

Daguy - 2/12/2013 8:40 AM
0 Votes
@chas Preach my friend

chas holman - 2/12/2013 12:22 AM
0 Votes
"marijuana trafficking has increased 2000% since 2011" Man.. if that isn't a wake up call what is.. Way more grass than police officers to deal with it. Always has been, always will be. All that money and lives spent the last 40 years, and it didn't mean a thing or dent the supply nor demand one bit. We need to take our few precious law enforcement resources and focus on 'big boy' things and get over this silly silly marijuana fetish. Let the clergy worry about 'saving' the grass smokers, it isn't in the Government's capabilities.
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