Two Florida men could be facing a life sentence in Oklahoma for attempting to transport Colorado-and California-made cannabis, hash, edibles and other concentrated forms of herb worth about $250,000.
According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, Robert Shepard and Andrew Mason were stopped last week outside of Oklahoma City for following another vehicle too closely. That's a common charge in states neighboring Colorado, where troopers have been profiling certain cars with green-and-white license plates and pulling them over for minor infractions. Narcotics agents say the Florida men were acting nervous during the stop, which prompted agents to call out a drug dog, Xena.
It didn't take long for Xena to alert officers to the fifty pounds of pot products in the car. Although the seized items aren't listed on the police report, cops say they found e-cigarette cartridges containing cannabis oil, waxes and dozens of edibles, including butters and oils. All of them are things you can legally buy, possess and use in medical and recreational marijuana states, at least to some degree.
But in Oklahoma, such items can quickly add up to massive felony charges. Cops say the products sell for as much as five times their original price once they're shipped out of state, which might help explain the $250,000 figure given by the Oklahoma narcotics cops.
Possession of hash and concentrates for personal use in Oklahoma could net someone a year in jail and $1,000 in fines. But those found to be transporting or possessing hash and concentrates with intent to sell face anywhere from two years to life in prison, not to mention up to $20,000 in fines. The same goes for sale or distribution of raw marijuana, and between 25 and 1,000 pounds can actually trigger as much as $100,000 in fines. Any way you slice it, Shepard and Mason could be looking at spending the rest of their lives in jail.
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Oklahoma police seemed stunned by the bust, noting that they had never seen some of the products before. They also said they assumed the men planned to sell the candies and oils to children and teenagers -- because apparently adults in Oklahoma don't like candy.
"It shows who these people are marketing this to, because you don't put gummy bears out here and target 55-year-old men with this stuff," Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesman Mark Woodward said at a press conference. "Teenagers are going to love this stuff. They're going to flock to some of these products, because they could literally be eating these in class, in school, on the school bus, in a movie theater, at home, and parents would have no clue."
Oklahoma officers said they'll be sending the samples to the University of Mississippi to test the THC levels.
Check out a news segment on the bust from Oklahoma's News 9: