TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A traffic stop ended up turning into a massive drug bust for Florida Highway Patrol troopers, according to an incident report.
The FHP report said a trooper was driving south on I-75 in Hernando County when he saw a Toyota Sienna following a semi-truck too closely.
When the trooper tried to overtake the vehicle, the Sienna began to go over the 70-mph limit before braking suddenly when the trooper got directly behind the car.
According to the report, the trooper pulled over the vehicle and immediately noticed the smell of burnt marijuana while approaching the passenger side.
The FHP said the passenger — identified as Toy Phaphon of Temecula, California, — said she was heading to Tampa from Atlanta for a follow-up appointment after getting a recent surgery.
The report said when asked about the smell of marijuana, the driver —Jenny Khamphouvong of Banning, California — said she smoked marijuana while filling up her rental car with gasoline.
According to the trooper, the driver denied having more marijuana in the vehicle but admitted to not having a medical marijuana card, so the trooper detained her.
The report said as the trooper conducted a probable cause search, they found a brown cardboard box in the second row of seats that had several large, vacuum-sealed packages of marijuana.
The document went on to say that Phaphon said she was not aware of the box of marijuana.
After a second trooper arrived, the search continued.
“I returned to the Toyota with Trooper Ortiz and continued searching. I discovered a second cardboard box with packing tape,” the trooper said in their report. “This box was discovered to contain large vacuumed sealed bags of marijuana as well. I observed the interior sides of the boxes were lined with peel and stick flooring tiles, presumably to defeat Airport X-Ray Scanners. An additional peel and stick tile matching the others was laying in plain view on the van floor. A suitcase Ms. Phaphon identified as belonging to her was sitting on top of the initial discovered box. In the rear cargo area were two large suitcases, one black and one blue. Each suitcase contained additional large vacuumed sealed bags of marijuana.”
The troopers also found ledgers belonging to Khamphouvong detailing the prices of the suitcases’ contents and multiple airline tickets for both women that suggested “heavy travel to and from California, Georgia, Texas, and Florida.”
When they examined Phaphon’s iPhone, troopers said they saw that the women were actually on their way to a barbershop in Tampa.
In total, troopers said the women had 61 individual bags of marijuana that weighed 75.92 pounds.
The FHP said both women were charged with several drug charges including trafficking of marijuana.