Traffic stop yields 8 pounds of pot

A car that remained in the passing lane moving at nearly 15 mph under the speed was enough to earn the attention of a Grand County Sheriff’s deputy Sunday. Before he was done, two men were in custody and about eight pounds of marijuana were confiscated.

Michael Washington, 23, and 25-year-old Christian Douglas-Frazier were charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a second-class felony, possession of a firearm or a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a third-class felony, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Washington, who was driving, was additionally cited for a pair of infractions: driving without a valid license — he’s apparently never had one — and driving in the wrong lane as the left lane is for passing.

The incident began Sunday when the deputy, who was parked in the median of Interstate 70 near milepost 182, observed a vehicle traveling east at 67 mph in an 80 mph zone in the left lane. The deputy pulled behind the car, which slowed to 65 mph and remained in the left lane until the deputy pulled over the driver about four miles later.

The men told the deputy they did not have driver’s licenses and that the vehicle did not belong to either one of them, according to the deputy’s affidavit of probable cause.

The deputy separated the pair and wrote that he became suspicious of criminal activity after the men allegedly offered conflicting accounts.

A computer check reportedly revealed both men had criminal records, with Frazier convicted of narcotics sales in California.

Washington did not consent to a search of the vehicle and the deputy called the Highway Patrol for a backup, as well as a tow truck as neither man had a valid license.

The deputy and trooper allegedly found a THC vape pen in the car and marijuana buds on the front passenger seat. In the trunk, said the deputy, were eight one-pound bags of marijuana and a 9mm handgun behind the stereo console.

Both men denied ownership of either the drugs or the weapon. The men were reportedly headed from California to Kansas.