Unhappy birthday: California man busted after Nebraska troopers find 30 pounds in gift-wrapped box


In case it wasn’t already on your list, add birthday present wrapping to the list of things that aren’t going to fool drug dogs. Around noon last Saturday, a Nebraska State Trooper pulled over 52-year-old Johnny C. Hatchett for “following to close” [sic]. We assume they meant following someone else too closely, because following a Nebraska State Trooper too closely would be downright stupid with what Hatchett was carrying. Joking aside, in all likelihood he got pulled over simply for having out-of-state plates.

The troopers apparently had a drug dog on them, and the little bastard’s nose directed them straight to the large package in the back wrapped in “birthday paper.” While it might actually have been a birthday present for a really, really lucky friend, unfortunately they won’t be receiving it. Inside police found nearly 30 pounds of herb.
This isn’t uncommon in Nebraska, which borders my cannabis-friendly home of Colorado on two sides. Stories of troopers pulling over anyone with Colorado and out-of-state plates within miles of the border aren’t uncommon to hear, and the Nebraska State Police love to brag about it. On the first page of their media site alone there are seven press releases announcing the arrests of out-of-staters for moving everything from five pounds of herb to over a ton. They keep their canine units really busy up there.
Sadly for Hatchet (and the others mentioned above), Nebraska is one of those states you probably really really want to avoid when you’ve got a lot of marijuana on you. While an ounce or less will only get you up to $300 in fines, possession of over a pound is a felony with five years and up to $10,000 in fines. This Californian might not see The Golden State for some time.

2,395 pounds of marijuana from a November 2012 stop.