By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A California man is in custody at the Campbell County jail after almost 300 pounds of marijuana was found last week in the car he was driving.
Leng See Chang, 33, of Sacramento, was arrested Thursday morning on Wyoming Highway 50 outside of Gillette and faces numerous charges, including possession with intent to deliver. He remained in custody as of Monday, Campbell County Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Seeman told Cowboy State Daily.
“The stop was pretty quick,” Seeman said. “He was going around nine miles (per hour) above the speed limit and the officer just noticed there was something in the back of the vehicle.”
Cheng was driving a 2008 Toyota RAV4 and concealed the drugs in the backseat and the rear portion of the vehicle, according to arrest reports. The drugs were concealed under a sleeping bag, but Seeman said the officer could see Cheng was hauling something that was loading the car down.
Cheng quickly admitted to having the drugs in the vehicle, Seeman said. The street value of the drugs is estimated to be around $1.2 million.
“I’d personally rather have the $1.2 million than the drugs, but that’s just me,” he said.
Cheng did say where he was heading, but Seeman said that information was not being released. He was not sure where Cheng had been driving from when he was arrested outside of Gillette.
The captain added that this was one of the larger drug busts the sheriff’s department has seen in recent years. While the department might see people get arrested for marijuana possession, they usually do not have hundreds of pounds with them.
“At the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, we have a zero tolerance policy, so it doesn’t matter what the amount of drugs could be in the car, if you’re caught with any controlled substance, you will be arrested and go to jail,” Seeman said.
Louey Williams, a special agent with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation special agent, told Cowboy State Daily that drug trafficking on Wyoming’s highwways is nothing new.
However, the increase of K-9 partners used by local law enforcement agencies has been a major help in cutting down on drugs being hauled through Wyoming, he said.
“If you have guys that are working the interstate and have a K-9, that increases the chance of them catching the load,” he said.
Williams knew there had been larger busts of drugs and marijuana during Wyoming traffic stops in recent years, but could not recall the numbers or when.
“This is a pretty large load, but there have definitely been bigger,” Williams said.
In February, the Pine Bluffs police department conducted a traffic stop for someone speeding and discovered nearly 350 pounds of marijuana inside of the vehicle, a historic bust for the department.
In April 2021, a traffic stop near Evanston led to the discovery of 300 pounds of marijuana.