Iowa man received a split sentence on a charge of possession with intent to deliver after he and a companion were found carrying a significant amount of marijuana products after being arrested for speeding on highway 212.
On December 17, 2020, at approximately 5:40 p.m., a Wyoming Highway Patrol soldier conducted a traffic check on a vehicle observed accelerating. The soldier reports that he approached the vehicle and smelled a very strong smell of raw marijuana even before reaching the open window on the passenger side.
The driver has been identified as Dontaye Burton, who was convicted a few weeks ago for the same crime. Burton reportedly said he was from, “Uh, Mont, uh, Mont… Seattle. I said Montana. When asked what was going on in Seattle, Burton reportedly said he just went to see the mountains and visited Seattle or Texas because he had family in both places.
Burton reportedly admitted that he and passenger Keith Gates smoked marijuana in Seattle, but denied there was contraband in the vehicle.
The soldier returned to the vehicle to speak to Gates, who he observed videoing with a woman. The soldier told Gates to hang up the phone and leave him in the vehicle, which Gates reportedly said he didn’t feel comfortable with.
The soldier informed Gates that he could smell marijuana, to which Gates reportedly replied that they had smoked in Washington. Gates was placed in the crate of the patrol car and the soldier searched the vehicle.
While Gates was handcuffed, he allegedly said there were pots of marijuana in the vehicle. According to the soldier’s report, a search revealed several dispensary jars containing suspected marijuana in the center console and a black garbage bag in the spare tire well that could be seen through an opening in the rear cargo area. .
The soldier opened up the spare tire area and found 14 gallon bags containing a leafy substance that he recognized as marijuana in the garbage bag. This was then measured at 8 lbs 2 oz including packaging.
After the vehicle was towed to the WYDOT store, a thorough search revealed dispensary-type marijuana throughout the vehicle with receipts indicating it was purchased in Washington. Several packages of marijuana were reportedly found in the center console, glove box and under both front seats.
Gates pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Judge Thomas W. Rumpke sentenced him to between five and seven years in a state prison, with all but 30 days suspended.
Gates will serve the 30 days in the Crook County Detention Center with credit for three days already served. The rest are on hold pending the successful completion of three years of supervised probation.