A Romanian citizen faces up to 40 years in federal prison, and a California woman faces up to five — both accused of trafficking 341 pounds of marijuana into Utah.
On Wednesday, a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment against 36-year-old Florin Daniel Goran of Romania and 35-year-old Claudia Maria De Marco or Hermosa Beach, Calif., according to District of Utah United States Attorney John W. Huber with the Department of Justice.
According to the indictment, Goran was driving a semi-truck with a trailer when he pulled into the Utah Port of Entry station on I-80 near Wendover, Utah. De Marco was his passenger.
After the truck was found to be overweight, an agent went to inspect the vehicle and smelled marijuana coming from the semi’s cab.
Agents searched the cab and found about 11 pounds of marijuana separated into 11 clear bags. The truck’s documents stated it was delivering a shipment of Pedialyte to Columbus, Ohio.
Agents also looked though the vents on the semi’s trailer and said they smelled marijuana coming from the trailer.
Goran, De Marco and the semi were all taken to the Tooele County UHP office where the truck’s trailer was searched.
The indictment says officers found 330 packages of raw marijuana in clear, vacuum-sealed plastic bags. Officer say they also found 1,240 THC vape cartridges, 150 THC chocolate bars, and 126 packages of THC edibles in the trailer.
A lab then tested the marijuana to make sure it was actually marijuana.
This case is unique only because of the amount of marijuana seized in a semi-truck. Every week, Utah law enforcement officers intercept loads of marijuana transiting Utah’s highways from the west coast to points east. In return, Utah officers will also intercept large bundles of drug-related cash traveling back from the east to the west coast.”
Policy makers and voters in west coast jurisdictions have created dynamics that negatively impact public safety in Utah. Simply put, these west coast marijuana havens cannot control the black market and overproduction dynamics they have created, and Utah is left to fend for ourselves in maintaining the quality of life we enjoy.”
I remind marijuana traffickers who hope to hide amidst the camouflage of state laws that allow marijuana production: federal law prohibits your conduct and I will enforce those provisions of the law in Utah. Marijuana traffickers may want to rethink their travel plans.”
In the first count of the two-count indictment, Goran is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the charge and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.
In the second count, De Marco is also charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. She faces up to five years in prison if convicted.