Man Admits to Felony Marijuana Possession
A Florida man who was arrested in March after a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper allegedly found over 100 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle he was driving pleaded guilty to a felony charge Thursday in Albany County District Court.
Brandon Christopher Bamond, 34, pleaded guilty on one count of possession of marijuana. In exchange, prosecutors will dismiss a second count of possession with intent to deliver and recommend probation at sentencing.
Bamond was arrested in March after a state trooper stopped him for speeding. Court documents say the trooper grew suspicious of criminal activity when Bamond and co-defendant Dane Gerkins, a 27-year-old who was in the Tahoe with Bamond, couldn't produce the vehicle's registration and gave conflicting stories.
K-9 Frosty was brought into the mix and alerted at the driver's side door, according to the affidavit.
A search reportedly turned up 62 packages of marijuana weighing 102 pounds in total, as well as two packages of marijuana wax weighing 2.2 pounds and $3,603 in cash.
Bamond said in court Thursday that an old work acquaintance called him from Seattle and asked him to come up from Florida. It was only on the second-to-last day of his trip that Bamond realized what was going on.
"When I got up there, everything changed," said Bamond, adding that he was intimidated into driving a Chevrolet Tahoe -- that reportedly belonged to someone else -- with 100 pounds of marijuana inside. "I didn't want to go through with it. I was scared."
Defense attorney Candace Pisciotti says she discussed that aspect of the case at length with Bamond, and the two ultimately decided it was better for Bamond to go forward with the guilty plea than raise an affirmative duress defense at trial.
Bamond remains free on bond. A sentencing date will be set pending completion of the presentence investigation.