Marijuana still on DEA’s radar

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – It was supposed to be a sale that would net two men $130,000 cash.

The problem was they were allegedly negotiating the sale of 100 pounds of marijuana with undercover DEA agents.

“This is a good case,” said Brian S. Besser, District Agent in Charge, Utah. “It involves bulk amounts of marijuana.”

And now it’s sitting in a DEA evidence storage unit as federal prosecutors seek an indictment against the two men.

“The state of Utah is kind of the golden chalice that the marijuana industry wants to see under their belt,” Besser said.

But he said it’s not only proponents of marijuana usage but the black market as well.

The sting took place Tuesday in a Salt Lake City home.  Agents watched them unload the marijuana from a hotel and take the marijuana to the home. That’s where court documents show undercover agents surprised the two men and arrested them.

Their names are not being released because the investigation is continuing and more arrests are possible according to the Besser.

And while many states are decriminalizing marijuana, it’s still illegal in states like Utah.

“Marijuana is considered a staple in the drug world,” Besser said.  “It really hasn’t gone anywhere.  I don’t expect it to.  There’s a very big demand for it.”

He said it’s their job to keep it off the streets.  According to the federal complaint following the arrest, one of the suspects had the following conversation with the DEA agent.

Suspect:  “So, what made you decide to be a cop?”
DEA agent: “Well I wanted to right the world of some wrongs and make things better in a small way.”
Suspect:  “Well, you put a big dent in some wrongs today.”

Federal prosecutors will meet with a grand jury next week to seek an indictment against the two men.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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