Couple Faces 45 Years in Prison After Overweight Load Leads to Big Rig Drug Bust
Salt Lake City, UT – A trucker and his fiancée are facing years in prison after an overweight tractor-trailer led to the discovery of over 340 pounds of marijuana in Utah.
According to a release from the Department of Justice (DOJ), a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment on Wednesday afternoon, which charged a truck driver and his passenger with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
The DOJ said the bust occurred at the Utah Port of Entry off Interstate 80 near Wendover.
The release did not specify a time or date of the bust.
However, officials state agents made contact with the trucker and his passenger following an overweight reading at the Utah Port of Entry.
The driver was identified as Romanian citizen Florin Daniel Goron, age 36.
Goron had a North Carolina driver’s license, officials said.
However, according to his social media, he lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Goron’s passenger was identified as 35-year-old Claudia Marie DeMarco of Hermosa Beach, CA.
DeMarco’s social media indicates she and Goron were recently engaged.
Investigators say the two were hauling a load of Pedialyte to be delivered to Columbus, OH.
When agents opened the door to the tractor during the inspection, the DOJ alleges the agent “detected the odor of raw marijuana coming from inside the cab.”
Troopers from the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) were dispatched to the Port for further investigation.
Officials searched the cab and located a black garbage bag “behind the driver’s seat in a passenger compartment.”
The contents of the garbage bag were 11 clear bags, each containing approximately one pound of suspected raw marijuana.
Upon opening the “vent door to the trailer,” officials also detected the scent of marijuana.
The DOJ said officials “could see large black garbage bags and unsecured boxes inside” after shining a flashlight through the vent door.
Goron and DeMarco were detained and transferred to the Tooele County UHP office.
At that time, the truck was sealed and transported to UHP, where a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Narcotics Task Force conducted a thorough search of the tractor and trailer.
A criminal complaint reveals agents located 330 packages of suspected raw marijuana in “clear and black vacuum-sealed bags,” each weighing approximately one pound.
The contents of the packages tested positive for marijuana.
Additionally, DEA officials also located 1,240 THC vape cartridges, 150 THC chocolate bars, and 126 packages of THC edibles in the trailer.
In the first count of Wednesday’s indictment, Goron was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted, with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.
In the second count of the indictment, DeMarco is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
She faces five years in prison if convicted.
Goron identifies himself on his Instagram page as the president of Des Plaines, IL-based Cargo Group Inc.
Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states Cargo Group employs five drivers and has five power units.
It’s out-of-service inspection rating is more than double the national average at 46.2%.
“I remind marijuana traffickers who hope to hide amidst the camouflage of state laws that allow marijuana production: 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,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said.
Photos courtesy UHP and Instagram