Sweetwater County Sheriff's Department
Sweetwater County Sheriff's Department

A 35-year-old California man is behind bars after Sweetwater County Sheriff's deputies reported finding over $300,000 worth of marijuana in his vehicle after a traffic stop.

Sweetwater County Sheriff Mike Lowell says the case began Wednesday afternoon when a deputy and his trained drug-detection dog made a traffic stop on an eastbound Chevy Suburban on Interstate 80 east of Rock Springs that had no front or rear license plates. The driver of the vehicle was determined to be 35-year-old Daniel Hurtado of Riverside, Calif.

The drug dog alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle, and a preliminary search turned up a small amount of pot, which led to Hurtado's arrest. Deputies then got a search warrant, and Lowell says that led to the discovery of 60 pounds of marijuana. Court documents say deputies also found 604 THC Vape cartridges labeled as 75 percent THC, and another 150 small glass containers that contained marijuana wax. The estimated total weight of the liquid pot was 302 grams.

Sheriff Lowell says his office now has a policy of not identifying police dogs or their handlers because of threats made across the country by drug dealers against both the animals and their human counterparts. Hurtado made his initial appearance in Circuit Court in Green River on Thursday.

He is charged with two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession with intent to deliver. His bond was set at $15,000 cash or surety, and at last report, he was in custody in the Sweetwater County jail.

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