By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A man deported from the United States in 2018 who was arrested near Rawlins in January with more than 150 pounds of marijuana in his car is facing a federal weapons charge.
Pedro Navarrete-Gomez has been charged with being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The charges filed in U.S. District Court on Monday stemmed from a traffic stop near Rawlins on Jan. 20, when the car Navarrette-Gomez was driving was stopped for speeding.
According to court documents, a search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of 158 pounds of marijuana, 12 grams of cocaine and two handguns.
According to an affidavit filed with charging documents, Navarrette-Gomez said he had been threatened and coerced into transporting the marijuana from California to Minnesota. He added he did not know who gave him the drugs in California or who he was to deliver them to in Minnesota.
According to arresting documents, Navarrette-Gomez was deported from the United States in 2018 and returned to the country illegally.
The marijuana seized from Navarrette-Gomez was not the largest amount taken in a Wyoming drug bust so far in 2022.
In February, the Pine Bluffs Police Department seized about 344 pounds of marijuana in a historic bust for the department.