TOOELE — A retired police officer recently charged with having more than 200 pounds of marijuana told Utah Highway Patrol troopers as he was being arrested that "sometimes it's worth the risk," according to newly unsealed court documents.
Edward Jasper Hansen, 67, of Decatur, Georgia, was charged May 24 in Tooele's 3rd District Court with possessing more than 100 pounds of marijuana, a second-degree felony; and manufacturing or delivering drug paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor.
Hansen is a retired detective from the Atlanta Police Department, according to the UHP. At the time of his arrest, Hansen told troopers he had "retired from Atlanta PD in 1994 and worked in robbery and sex crimes," according to a search warrant affidavit.
On May 23, troopers pulled over Hansen's Toyota Tundra just before 9 a.m. on state Route 35 for an alleged window tint violation. A police K-9 was called to the scene when the trooper became suspicious of Hansen because "the driver seemed more nervous than the general motoring public. He observed the driver’s hands began shaking noticeably more, his breathing was heavy and he was sweating," the warrant states.
The dog alerted troopers to something in the covered bed of the truck, according to the charges. Trash bags and duffel bags were found in the bed. Inside the bags, troopers found 222 vacuum-sealed 1-pound bags of marijuana and cash, the charges state.
At that point, Hansen was placed under arrest.
"The driver did state the money was not going to get back to him anyway so to list his Costa Rica address on the asset seizure notice form. The driver then stated, 'It’s a game,' and, 'Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Today wasn’t my day.' When I told him that was not a good game to play, he then alluded that due to life and kids that 'sometimes it’s worth the risk.'"
State Bureau of Investigations Lt. Jared Garcia said attitudes like that aren't uncommon because with the current price of drugs, traffickers stand to make a big profit while the loss risk is low.
"They have nothing to lose," he said.
Through June, UHP troopers made 101 drug seizures, compared to 88 for the same time period last year. Marijuana busts are about the same through the first six months of this year as last, Garcia said, but the number of methamphetamine busts has been alarming.
A total of 316 pounds of meth was seized by the UHP through June this year, compared to 100 pounds last year. Troopers seized firearms in 12 cases so far this year, Garcia said, compared to firearms being found in four cases during the same time period last year.
Hansen's next court hearing is scheduled for July 25.