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Post: Blog2_Post

UHP stops a vehicle on US-40 going 94 mph, driver gets arrested for drugs


On Monday, February 19th, 2024, at 4:33 pm, Trooper Lorensen was patrolling US-40 near milepost 129 when he observed a gray Ford Ranger traveling East approaching the Trooper when a tone from his radar indicated the target was traveling at 94 mph in a 65 mph. Seeing the violation, the Trooper turned around and initiated a traffic stop.

Upon contacting the driver, 20-year-old Jacob Layne Cutler, Trooper Lorensen, smelled the odor of burnt marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. While standing at the passenger window, the Trooper could see multiple tobacco and drug paraphernalia in plain view.

During the conversation, Jacob's speech and body language seemed unusually quick, and he would move his tongue around. He appeared to have an extremely dry mouth. When he did this, Trooper Lorensen could see his tongue had a greenish color.

It was found that Jacob Cutler was an alcohol-restricted driver, had an ignition restriction, had a suspended driver's license for a previous DUI, and had a warrant out of Box Elder County for a previous DUI and a drug possession charge. His vehicle also had no insurance and no ignition interlock device.

On Trooper Lorensen's second approach to the vehicle, he asked Jacob about his marijuana use, and he admitted to smoking a bowl earlier in the day. Jacob said there was marijuana, as well as multiple items of paraphernalia.

Cutler stated the marijuana was in a dispensary container from a Utah cannabis pharmacy. He then said he had a medical cannabis card. Cutler produced an expired Utah medical card, and during the conversation, he admitted to having cocaine in the vehicle but said it was someone else's.

Jacob was advised that some tests needed to be performed to ensure he was safe to drive. Once he was out of the vehicle and safely off the roadway, and checked for weapons. None were found.

Trooper Lorensen then performed the SFSTs with Jacob, and the results were as follows:

Pre-exit interview questions: I performed these questions with Cutler outside of the vehicle for safety reasons. Performing them at the driver's window would have necessitated me standing in the road with live traffic, as Cutler had stopped essentially on the fog line. Off of the roadway, I began by checking Cutler's eyes, noticing nystagmus and abnormal pupil size. I then conducted the alphabet, counting backward, and finger counting questions. During these, Cutler showed indications of possible impairment by struggling to remember, follow, or comprehend instructions.

HGN: I began by asking medical questions relating to Cutler's ability to perform this test. He denied having any issues that would hinder his performance. I then checked for equal pupil tracking, equal pupil size, and resting nystagmus and saw no issues. During the test, I observed six of six clues, as well as other indications of possible impairment. I saw a lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes, nystagmus in both eyes at maximum deviation, and the onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees. During this test, Cutler struggled to follow instructions. On multiple occasions, he would stop watching my finger or would follow my finger with his whole head.

Nine-step walk and turn: I began this test by asking medical questions relating to Cutler's ability to perform this test and the one-leg stand. He denied having any issues that would hinder his performance. During the test, I observed at least three clues. Those clues were raising his arms more than approximately six inches, stopping walking, and stepping off line.

One leg stand: During this test, I observed no obvious validated clues.

PBT: I administered a PBT, showing a negative indication for alcohol.

"Having seen indications of impairment, possession of drugs, Cutler's admission to recent use, and his history of DUI, I determined Cutler was unsafe to be driving a vehicle. I placed him under arrest for DUI at 1700 hours."

While searching Jacob's vehicle, multiple tobacco, drugs, and drug paraphernalia were found. The drugs located were green and leafy, consistent with marijuana, multiple containers of THC concentrate, and a white powder Jacob identified as cocaine. None of the cannabis containers found came from a legal Utah pharmacy.

A1 Empire Towing impounded Cutler's vehicle at 5:54 pm. Once the tow truck left the scene, Jacob was transported to the Uintah Basin Healthcare in Vernal.

With Jacob refusing the blood test, Trooper Lorensen submitted a request for a blood draw warrant, which the Judge approved. The Trooper read the warrant to Jacob, and he stated he would still not submit to a blood draw. Jacob was advised of the criminal charge he would face for refusing the warrant, and he replied, "Fuck it."

While parked next to the emergency room door of Uintah Basin Healthcare, Trooper Lorensen was filling out some of the paperwork needed to book Jacob into jail. When Cutler became extremely agitated and started complaining of medical issues but refused to answer questions relating to them.

Jacob was asked on multiple occasions if he needed to go into the hospital, but he denied needing medical help. Cutler then began banging his head on the sides of the patrol car cage and making suicidal comments. Jacob asked the Trooper what he needed to say to get him to the jail quicker.

At one point, Cutler went quiet, slumped over, and hyperventilated. Trooper Lorensen opened the rear door of his patrol vehicle, checking on him; he sat up and stopped hyperventilating, returning to normal. When Trooper Lorensen tried to re-attach his seatbelt, Jacob resisted and told the Trooper he would take it off again. After re-attaching the seatbelt, he immediately unbuckled it.

After Jacob refused the warrant and was advised of the consequences, he was transported to the Uintah Couthy Jail and booked in.

After booking Jacob Cutler, Trooper Lorensen returned to his patrol vehicle at 2:12 am and checked the cage area as his standard procedure following an arrest. After examination, he found a small baggie containing white powder tucked underneath the metal side of the cage. This area is checked before a shift and after every arrest.

After finding the powder, it was tested, and it tested positive for meth, confirming Cutler left it in the patrol vehicle.


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