Romanian man faces up to 40-year prison term after marijuana bust in Utah

A federal grand jury in Utah returned a two-count indictment Wednesday against a Romanian man and a California woman, accusing them of attempting to distribute nearly 341 pounds of marijuana.

Florin Daniel Goran, 36, and Claudia Maria De Marco of Hermosa Beach, California, were indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah, according to a news release issued by the Department of Justice.

Law enforcement agents found nearly 341 pounds of marijuana in a commercial truck driven by Goran, KUTV reported.

Goran is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, according to the news release. He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the charge and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. De Marco is also charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. She faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

According to the indictment, Goran was driving a semi-truck with a trailer when he pulled into the Utah Port of Entry station on Interstate 80 near Wendover. De Marco was his passenger.

Officials reported the truck was overweight, and an agent went to inspect the vehicle, KUTV reported. The agent said he smelled marijuana coming from the cab of the truck, the television station reported. A Utah Highway Patrol trooper dispatched to the Port of Entry also detected the odor of marijuana in the cab, the complaint alleges.

A search of the cab revealed 11 pounds of marijuana in 11 clear bags, according to the indictment. The truck’s documents stated it was delivering a shipment of Pedialyte to Columbus, Ohio, the news release said.

Upon inspection, agents found an additional 330 packages of marijuana in clear bags. Agents also found 1,240 Tetrahydrocannabinol vape cartridges, 150 THC chocolate bars and 126 packages of THC edibles in the trailer.

“I remind marijuana traffickers who hope to hide amidst the camouflage of state laws that allow marijuana production,” United States Attorney John W. Huber said in a statement. “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,” Huber said.

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