25 pounds of suspected pot found in man’s trunk

Cuong Quoc Pham, 47, of San Jose, Calif., was arrested early Monday morning on Interstate 70 after a Western Colorado Drug Task Force Officer found 25 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle Pham was driving.

Pham was pulled over shortly before 1 a.m. Monday near mile marker 12 on I-70. A drug task force officer determined Pham was following a car too closely and driving 46 mph in a construction zone where the speed limit was 40 mph, according to an arrest affidavit.

Pham was visibly nervous, according to the affidavit, and almost hit the front bumper of the officer’s car when his sedan began rolling backward during the stop. The officer noticed a scent of raw marijuana coming from inside the vehicle, which Pham said a friend rented for him in California. The officer also saw two cellphones and hand-written directions for driving to Reno, Nev., Grand Junction, Denver and Dallas inside the car.

According to the affidavit, Pham told the officer he was traveling from San Jose to Denver to apply for a job. He denied having any illegal drugs or weapons in the car.

The officer asked if he could search the vehicle and Pham consented. The officer found a large, black duffle bag in the trunk that contained several vacuum-sealed packages of suspected marijuana weighing about 25 pounds. That amount of marijuana is valued at $60,000 to $65,000 if sold illegally, according to the drug task force.


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