Man Denies Four Felony Drug Charges in Albany County District Court
A Utah man arrested last month after a traffic stop on the southern edge of Laramie faces a slew of felony charges after an Albany County Sheriff's deputy allegedly found 12 pounds of marijuana, ecstasy and THC in two forms.
Gerald M. Grant, 23, of Ogden, Utah pleaded not guilty on four felony counts Monday in Albany County District Court: possession of marijuana, possession of THC, possession of liquid THC and possession with intent to distribute. He could face up to 25 years in prison and $35,000 in fines if convicted on all charges.
Court documents say a deputy on Aug. 7 saw a white Kia Sportage speeding into Laramie on U.S. 287. The deputy pulled the SUV over at mile post 314 on I-80 eastbound.
When he approached the Kia, the deputy smelled a strong odor of marijuana, according to the affidavit.
The deputy searched Grant, who was reportedly driving, and allegedly found three receipts from a Colorado marijuana dispensary. Court documents say the deputy asked Grant whether there was any marijuana in the vehicle, and Grant allegedly said he and his passenger had marijuana in the Kia.
The affidavit says the passenger, Souchunya A. Xayvong, was searched, but nothing was found on her person. She allegedly told the deputy there was "a substantial amount" of marijuana -- belonging to both her and Grant -- in the Kia, as well as two pills of ecstasy that belonged to her alone.
Deputies searched the vehicle and allegedly found 60 packages of marijuana, several of which reportedly appeared to be from a Colorado dispensary, weighing 12.9 pounds in total including packaging.
Court documents say deputies also found two tablets of ecstasy in a black pill bottle, a container of hash wax weighing about 14 grams including packaging, liquid THC weighing about 40 grams including packaging, and two pill bottles with THC pills weighing 30 grams including packaging.
The search also turned up 35 small jewelers' bags in a shoebox and two digital scales with marijuana residue, according to court documents. The deputy says in his affidavit that similar items are often used to repackage and sell drugs.
Deputies also allegedly discovered $568.79 in cash -- some of which was in a locked wooden box in the back seat -- and four marijuana pipes with residue as well as two marijuana grinders.
In addition, the affidavit says deputies found 17 receipts from Colorado marijuana dispensaries dated between Aug. 5 and Aug. 7. Six of those receipts were in Xayvong's name, nine were in Grant's name and 10 receipts were either unnamed or were in the name of people besides Grant and Xayvong.
The affidavit says Xayvong told the deputy she and Grant left Ogden Aug. 5 and drove through the night to Aurora, Colo., where the pair bought marijuana from different dispensaries with the intention of taking it back to Utah.
Xayvong allegedly said she left Ogden with about $6,000 and spent roughly $5,000 on marijuana while in Colorado. Further, court documents say Xayvong told the deputy she made a similar trip with Grant in early July, and the pair roughly doubled their money by selling the marijuana in Utah. She allegedly said they made 3-4 trips for the same reason.
Xayvong also told the deputy the ecstasy in the Kia was hers, and the vehicle was registered to her parents, according to the affidavit.
Court documents say Grant was previously convicted of possession of a controlled substance in Davis County, Utah in 2012 and again in Ogden, Utah later that same year.
Judge Jeffrey Donnell on Monday set Grant's trial for Jan. 5-6. Grant remains free on $15,000 signature bond.
Xayvong is scheduled for arraignment Sept. 27 in Albany County District Court.