CSP finds pot, other drugs in traffic stop
SILVERTHORNE – A traffic stop near Silverthorne netted Colorado State Patrol (CSP) officers more than 50 pounds of marijuana, a pound of cocaine and other drugs with a street value of more than $500,000.
A pound of cocaine is equal to 453.6 grams.
According to CSP Capt. Ron Prater, 23-year-old Anthony L. Thomason of Denver was driving 100 mph through the westbound bore of the Eisenhower Tunnel Monday afternoon when another driver called to report him as a possible drunken driver.
Troopers pulled over Thomason in Silverthorne and searched the vehicle. They found the drugs in the trunk of the car, officers said.
Normally, troopers weigh such drugs on scales in their Silverthorne office, but they wanted a more accurate assessment so they took the marijuana to the Silverthorne Post Office to weigh it.
Prater said that in the future, troopers plan to send it to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in Denver to determine its weight.
Thomason, a student at Mesa State in Grand Junction, was arrested on charges of possession with intent to distribute and various traffic-related charges. He posted a $17,000 bond Tuesday morning.
“This one, as far as we can tell, had no direct ties to the community,” Prater said. “It was purely a trafficking case on the interstate.”
Interstate 70 is a known pipeline for drug traffickers. In August, CSP officers made a routine traffic stop near Vail Pass and found 123 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle. Prater said law enforcement catches only a tiny fraction of what is trafficked through the corridor.
“We don’t get enough of them, given the amount of contraband that’s flowing up and down the highway every day,” he said, adding that troopers are trained to be vigilant and seek out “indicators of criminal activity.” He declined to list what they might include.
“They’re the eyes and ears of different agencies,” he said of his crews. “Our philosophy is, we do traffic enforcement, and in the course of doing traffic enforcement, we look beyond the ticket, look beyond the driving issue and look for well-established indicators of criminal activity.”
Other major drug busts this summer have included the arrest of a Silverthorne resident who allegedly possessed almost six ounces of cocaine; and four Breckenridge residents last week, who Summit County Drug Task Force agents allege sold cocaine to undercover agents in local bars.
Their arrest led to the discovery of 32.14 grams of cocaine, 9.48 grams of psychedelic mushrooms and an incendiary device in a couple’s French Creek home.
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or
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