Pair In Stolen Charger Run From Cops At 160 MPH With 70 Pounds Of Pot

After a wild chase in a stolen Charger across two states hitting speeds of 160 mph, a pair of men from Maryland face a laundry list of charges in Wyoming, including for the 70 pounds of pot they were transporting.

CM
Clair McFarland

October 16, 20235 min read

Nearly 70 pounds of marijuana was found in a stolen Dodge Charger that led Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers on a chase at speeds up to 160 mph.
Nearly 70 pounds of marijuana was found in a stolen Dodge Charger that led Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers on a chase at speeds up to 160 mph. (Wyoming Highway Patrol)

A Baltimore, Maryland, man has until January to argue that he didn’t steal a Dodge Charger and rush 70 pounds of marijuana into Wyoming at more than 160 mph.  

Brian Battick, 21, is set for a Jan. 11 preliminary hearing in Evanston Circuit Court, where he can argue that authorities didn’t have probable cause to arrest him when they chased him into Wyoming from Utah on Interstate 80 earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Battick’s co-defendant Vernon Laws, who is 20 this year, waived his preliminary hearing Friday and is being prosecuted in the felony-level Uinta County District Court.  

Two Spike Strips And A Run 

It started as a high-speed chase in Utah.

At 10:13 p.m. Oct. 5, Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Kyle Coudriet learned from dispatch that Summit County, Utah, authorities had lost sight of a red Dodge Charger on I-80, heading east into Wyoming.  

Coudriet sat in the median with his rear-facing radar activated. By 10:38 p.m., a red Dodge Charger hurtled past at 87 mph, according to Coudriet’s evidentiary affidavit filed in the case.  

Coudriet tried to make a traffic stop, but the Charger shot forward, swerving all over the road and bumbling through sharp curves between other vehicles, says the affidavit.  

Uinta County Sheriff’s deputies laid spike strips at mile marker 18. The Charger crossed over them and its front passenger tire deflated.  

By then, Coudriet was several miles behind the Charger, but he could still see it take the next curve “at a very high rate of speed” and head for the next round of spike strips that had been set up.  

The Wyoming Highway Patrol would later report that the Charger exceeded 160 mph (mph on all references) during the chase.  

When deputies caught up to the vehicle after 11 p.m., it had crashed into a ditch about five mile markers from its second spike strip, says the affidavit.  

After the crash, Battick and Laws fled on foot.  

The affidavit says the agents ran down one of the men, whom they identified by his Maryland driver’s license as Laws.  

But the second suspect got away.  

One of the troopers found a driver’s license left behind in the Chargerbelonging to Battick.  

Laws confirmed that Battick was the other person in the Charger, according to the affidavit.

The Mother Lode 

Jim’s Towing arrived and hauled the Charger back to the local Wyoming Highway Patrol office for processing at about 3 a.m.  

Coudriet and another trooper followed it there and searched it, where they found the driver’s seat belt was still buckled. A small white plastic bag with a green, plant-like substance sat in front of the passenger seat, says the affidavit.  

They popped the trunk, and there they found 59 clear, vacuum-sealed bags and two cold cans containing 68.8 pounds of what later tested positive as marijuana, the affidavit claims.  

The troopers also reportedly rounded up a can opener, a digital scale and lots of clear plastic bags.  

The Charger’s VIN was partially covered with a gum wrapper and the VIN sticker inside the door was partially ripped off, says the affidavit.  

But Troopers were able to piece together the VIN, and found the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Prince William County, Virginia.  

Wee Hours 

By 5:24 a.m., a trooper received a call about a man walking with a flashlight around mile marker 21 on I-80, headed east. The trooper found the man, arrested him, and identified him as Battick.  

Agents took both men to the Uinta County Detention Center.  

The Bill  

Laws faces the following charges in Uinta County District Court: 

  • Marijuana possession with intent to deliver, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

  • Possession of a felony quantity level of marijuana (up to five years and $10,000). 

  • Felony theft (up to 10 years and $10,000).

  • Misdemeanor interfering with police (up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines). 

Still in Evanston Circuit Court until (and if) the prosecutor shows probable cause in January to pursue his case, Battick faces the following charges:  

  • Possessing marijuana with intent to deliver (up to 10 years and $10,000). 

  • Felony marijuana possession (up to five years and $10,000).

  • Felony theft (up to 10 years and $10,000).

  • Felony fleeing (up to five years and $5,000).

  • Misdemeanor reckless endangering (up to one year in jail and $750).

  • Failure to inform a vehicle owner when the vehicle is wrecked (up to 20 days in jail and $200). 

  • Two counts of misdemeanor interference with police (up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines each). 

Battick appears to be out on bond. His case file indicates that somebody has posted a $20,000 surety bond to free him during his prosecution. 

Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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CM

Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter