California Man Gets Probation for Major Pot Bust; He Had No Criminal History
A Wisconsin resident received two years of supervised probation for transporting 111 pounds of marijuana west of Casper last year, according to a sentence handed down in Natrona County District Court on Tuesday.
Thong Xiong had no criminal record nor a history of substance abuse, which were factors why the prosecution and defense recommended the two- to five-year suspended prison term and the probation.
Natrona County District Court Judge Kerri Johnson agreed.
Xiong will return to California where he will serve the terms of his probation, Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk said after the sentencing hearing.
Xiong, who was 29 when arrested, faced charges of delivery of a controlled substance, felony possession and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance. The delivery count was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
However, the case of Xiong's co-defendant is different, Schenk said.
Choua Khang, who was 30 when arrested, is scheduled to go on trial on Feb. 4 on one felony count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and possession of a felony weight of a controlled substance. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years of imprisonment.
The case began April 12 when Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers stopped a Chevrolet Silverado traveling 71 mph in a 65-mph zone on Wyoming Highway 220, according to a news release from the Highway Patrol
After being stopped, Xiong told troopers he was traveling from Grenada, Calif., to Sioux Falls, S.D., before heading home to Wisconsin Rapids, Wis..
Khang, when asked about the pair's travel plans, reportedly told a conflicting story.
Troopers saw several boxes, and Xiong admitted to having drugs inside the vehicle. A drug dog reportedly alerted to the odor of narcotics.
A search of the vehicle revealed 111 individual vacuum-sealed packages containing one pound each of marijuana. (The initial estimate was 123 pounds with a street value of $307,000.) The packages were found inside a large box, a modified washing machine and a purse, according to the Highway Patrol.
The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation was brought in to assist with the investigation.