Mesa County deputies find 'just a little' marijuana in box truck: 3,100 pounds

Posted at 4:09 PM, Sep 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 19:32:07-04

MESA COUNTY, Colo. – “Just a little” bit of marijuana turned out to be more than 3,000 pounds of fresh plants found in the back of a rented box truck Saturday afternoon.

A Mesa County sheriff’s deputy was driving along eastbound Patterson Road with his windows down Saturday just after 1 p.m. when he caught the whiff of marijuana coming from the rented box truck driving in front of him.

According to a police report, the deputy followed the truck as it sped through the area before eventually pulling over.

When the deputy approached the driver’s-side door, the driver, 53-year-old Sinh Chan Hoang, rolled the window down. “I smelled an overwhelming odor of unburnt marijuana,” the deputy wrote.

He asked Hoang and his passenger, 49-year-old Larry Tran, if they’d been smoking pot, to which Tran said he’d smoked “just a tiny bit” about an hour beforehand. But the two men weren’t able to get their story straight about where they were coming from or going, or how they knew one another.

Hoang at one point told the deputy he could open the back of the truck. The deputy had Hoang open the door.

“When he lifted the overhead door, the smell of unburnt marijuana was overwhelming,” the deputy wrote.

He said he saw three suitcases, several duffel bags, and at least a dozen black trash bags.

According to Hoang’s affidavit, he tore a hole in one of the bags and picked out a bud.

“It’s just a little bit. I can throw it out,” he allegedly told the deputy.

The two men continued to be unable to get their story straight about what they had been doing with the marijuana load, and deputies arrested both. When the load was weighed afterward, it came out to approximately 3,100 pounds.

Both Hoang and Tran face felony charges of marijuana possession with intent to distribute more than 50 pounds. They are both being held at the Mesa County Detention Facility.