Cops in Sweetwater Co. shoot pitbull, seize drugs in separate incidents

SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYO – Law enforcement in the Rock Springs area has been busy lately.

A Riverside, California man is in custody after county deputies recovered marijuana from his vehicle with a street value of over $300,000.

According to Sweetwater County Sheriff Mike Lowell, a deputy and his drug-detection-trained canine partner made a traffic stop Wednesday on Interstate 80 east of Rock Springs after the deputy observed an eastbound vehicle, a blue Chevrolet Suburban, with no visible front or rear license plates.

Daniel Hurtado (SCSO)

The driver and sole occupant of the Suburban was determined to be 36-year-old Daniel M. Hurtado. When the canine alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle, a preliminary search resulted in the discovery of a small amount of marijuana and Hurtado was placed under arrest.

A search warrant was obtained, and during the subsequent search of the vehicle more than 60 pounds of marijuana was found and seized.

In addition, deputies also located 604 individual THC Vape cartridges containing a liquid substance that was labeled as 75% THC. Deputies also located 150 individual small glass containers that contained marijuana wax (Dab).

Deputies confirmed with the County Attorney’s Office the vials labeled as 75% THC were marked as containing 500mg. The estimated total weight of the liquid marijuana was 302 grams.

Authorities warn that use of marijuana “concentrates” such as vape cartridges and marijuana wax are on the rise. Lowell says that parents can learn more about their use through links to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration website.

Lowell said the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office is adopting a policy of not identifying its dog handlers and their K9 partners by name in the media due to nationwide incidences of threats against law enforcement officers and their dogs who have been responsible for major drug seizures.

Hurtado had his initial appearance in Circuit Court in Green River on Thursday. He is charged with two counts of felony-grade Possession of a Controlled Substance and one count of Possession with Intent to Deliver. His bond was set at $15,000 cash or surety, and he remains in custody as of press time.

Rock Springs cops shoot aggressive dog

Rock Springs Police officers were forced to shoot a pitbull that attacked them while they were serving a warrant.

According to Police Chief Dwane Pacheco, on November 8 at approximately 4:51pm, detectives and uniformed officers served a search warrant at 1057 Evergreen Way. The warrant was issued for evidence related to computer crimes.

The initial officer on scene approached the residence to make contact with the occupants. A resident opened the front door at which time a pitbull darted out of the residence. The dog bit the officer’s foot as he stood on the outside landing. A plain clothes detective, performing duties as a backup officer, was then charged by the pitbull in the front yard. The detective shot the charging dog and it died on scene.

The warrant was executed without further incident. No arrests have been made at this time and the investigation is ongoing.

An internal investigation of this incident is being conducted by the Rock Springs Police Department.

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