$3.5 million worth of cannabis and THC vape cartridges are now tucked away inside an Indiana State Police evidence locker. And the two men who stand accused of transporting it are behind bars in a Hendricks County jail.
Around 11:30 am on Wednesday, March 13, an Indiana State Trooper pulled over a vehicle traveling eastbound on Interstate 70, near mile marker 66. The reason for the stop was a simple moving violation. The trooper saw that a box truck was “tailgating,” or following too closely to the vehicle in front of it. But when the trooper approached the truck, he detected a strong aroma of cannabis. In a conversation with the truck’s driver and passenger, the trooper also reported observing unspecified “criminal indicators.”
The smell and the suspicious behavior were enough probable cause to trigger a search of the truck. During that search, the trooper didn’t discover a half-smoked joint or a bowl or a dime bag. Instead, he opened the cargo area of the truck and discovered an estimated $3.5 million worth of cannabis.
Barely concealed inside a number of cardboard boxes, the trooper discovered roughly 25o pounds of dry flower, along with 50,000 THC oil cartridges. Police say the 250 pounds of marijuana has a street value of about $2.5 million, while the vape carts have a $1 million street value.
But their math might be a little off. $2.5 million for 250 pounds shakes out to about $625 per ounce. And even in prohibition Indiana, an ounce isn’t going to fetch $625—that’s almost $80 an eighth! Same for the vape cartridges. $1 million for 50,000 carts works out to just $20 per cartridge. Police didn’t say whether the carts were full or half grams, but either way, $20 for a THC cartridge is a steal. Nevertheless, Indiana State Police are boasting that they’ve taken $3.5 million worth of cannabis “off the streets.”
The driver of the truck, 27-year-old Danny J. Luttrell, and its passenger, 27-year-old Brandon M. Pierson, both face Level 5 felony charges for Dealing Marijuana. A police report indicates the two men were traveling back to Indianapolis, where both are from, from Burbank, California. There is no information on whether the 250 pounds of cannabis and 50,000 THC cartridges originated in Burbank.
But the arrest of Luttrell and Pierson for “dealing” marijuana and THC oil recalls the recent tragedy involving one Indiana family’s desperate quest for medical cannabis for their daughter. Charly Curtis, the 6-year-old daughter of Heidi and Dave Curtis, recently passed away after a severe bout of seizures stopped her heart. Heidi and Dave risked everything to provide their daughter with illegal THC oil, which was the only medicine that effectively reduced Charly’s severe seizures. In fact, David Curtis was on his way to Colorado, prepared to illegally traffic life-saving THC oil for his daughter, when he received news of her death.
Indiana is among the minority of U.S. states without any form of legal cannabis—except hemp CBD oil. And so far, all efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Indiana have failed, including a pair of attempts this year. Meanwhile, Indiana Police continue to aggressively enforce the state’s drug laws.
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