By Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — Two Asian men have been ordered to appear in court on Dec. 5 on charges of trafficking about 105 pounds of marijuana northeast of Cushing as a result of their arrests in an SUV on Norfolk Road at Deep Rock Road by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Billy Overbey.
Kou Yang, 47, of Yale, who was identified by his California driver’s license, and his passenger, Pao Xiong Chang, 49, of Detroit, were jailed on $250,000 bail each on the felony drug charge punishable by a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $200,000 fine on conviction.
The pair were arrested after a traffic stop for traveling in a Honda Odyssey northbound on Norfolk Road at 65 mph in a 45-mph zone at about 7:30 pm on Oct. 27, the trooper’s affidavit alleged.
When the trooper approached the vehicle on the passenger side, he “immediately smelled an overwhelming odor of marijuana,” his affidavit alleged.
“While approaching the vehicle, numerous large brown paper sacks were visible from the vehicle’s rear and side windows,” the trooper alleged in his affidavit.
“Yang opened the vehicle’s rear hatch and ripped open one of the six brown paper sacks; each brown sack weighed approximately 12-15 lbs. and was full of a green leafy substance,” the affidavit alleged.
When the trooper asked Yang if he had a marijuana transporter’s license or if he had any documentation, “he explained that he did not,” the affidavit alleged.
“In addition, Yang explained that he worked for the ‘MITCHELL LLC Marijuana Grow’ and was transporting ‘marijuana stems’ to destroy. In addition, Yang explained that the ‘marijuana stems’ did not belong to him and that he was solely transporting them,” the affidavit alleged.
On the trooper’s request, Cushing Police Sgt. Matt Piatt came to the site with a field test kit that confirmed the substance to be marijuana, the affidavit alleged.
After Yang was arrested at 8:11 pm and advised of his Miranda rights, “Yang explained that he was invoking his fifth amendment right and refused to speak further,” the affidavit said.
Yang’s front seat passenger, Chang, who was identified by his Michigan ID card and explained that the marijuana was not his, was also arrested at 8:11 pm, the affidavit said.
The trooper “documented that the vehicle contained six brown sacks of marijuana weighing approximately 75 lbs. combined and three black 27-gallon crates of marijuana weighing around 10 lbs. each,” the affidavit alleged.
In addition, the trooper confiscated a white iPhone, a black LG smartphone, a “One Plus” black smartphone, and a black “TracFone” cellphone, the affidavit alleged.
“A deputy with the Payne County Sheriff’s Office transported Yang and Chang to the county jail,” while Trooper Overbey and Trooper Coleman Parker weighed and sorted the marijuana at Payne County’s Maintenance building, where it was secured by Payne County Sgt. Don Howard, the affidavit alleged.
Trooper Overbey secured the confiscated cellphones at the Payne County Sheriff’s Office, the affidavit said.