Christopher Rosacker
crosacker@theunion.com

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Minnesota men arrested with alleged carload of drugs

One Minnesota man remained behind bars Friday after he and another man from that state were arrested just past the state line coming into California along Interstate 80, allegedly with a car full of illegal drugs.

Brian B. Brandt, 49, and Thomas W. Hatcher, 36, were arrested late Thursday after a patrolman reportedly witnessed a gray Honda Accord drift out of its traffic lane, raising suspicion of impaired driving, said Officer Gavin Graham of the California Highway Patrol.

After the vehicle stopped east of the Farad exit, a Placer County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit was called in, and a search was conducted, Graham said.

At least 16 pounds of marijuana was allegedly discovered, along with numerous prescription narcotics, methamphetamine and what officers believed were numerous doses of LSD.

The drug recovery comes on the heels of Truckee-area CHP officers recovering more than 240 pounds of marijuana, 2 pounds of methamphetamine, $17,650 in suspected drug money, hundreds of doses of illegally obtained prescription medications and several loaded weapons from stops made in November.

“We’ve been encouraged to scratch a little bit deeper,” Graham said.

“We’re challenged to go out and ask more questions and go a little further in our stops.

“This is one of those cases. The officer felt there was something criminal afoot and followed his instincts and training.”

Brandt, the driver, was charged with eight felony drug charges, one misdemeanor and had posted $150,000 bail, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office jail booking website.

Hatcher, the passenger, was charged with nine felony drug charges, one misdemeanor and was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail as of press time Friday.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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The Union Updated Dec 23, 2013 12:19AM Published Dec 22, 2013 02:32PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.