Keep Right Except to Pass

If we were asked how to avoid being caught in a drug crime, our advice would be to "not commit drug crimes". If pressed further, we would recommend staying out of the passing lane while driving. Not only is it simple driving courtesy to "Keep Right Except to Pass", it takes away probable cause from the police officer following the car -- there's no reason to effect a traffic stop if very simple laws we all learned in driver's education class are followed. And the State of Pennsylvania (felon 1, felon 2) is getting some competition from the State of Kansas in sizable drug busts based upon this simple traffic infraction. 

The newest entrant in the refusing to stay out of the passing list while transporting drugs pantheon is Delon T. Dalton, an Illinois resident driving a car with Minnesota plates slowly in the passing lane in Salina, Kansas. According to news reports, the odor of marijuana and "evidence of marijuana in the driver’s side floorboard" led to the discovery of 9.4 pounds of pot in the trunk of the rental Kia Rio. And in a subtle way, we have to give Mr. Dalton some props for picking a comparatively inconspicous car for his attempt at trafficking; most stories of traffickers in rental cars involve much more "flash".

However, Mr. Dalton is going to need good legal representation for at least two of his pending charges; we suspect the left-lane violation is literally the least of his worries:

Dalton was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and no drug tax stamp. He was also cited for a left lane violation.

And Kansas appears to be taking the Pennsylvania tactic of punishing drug dealers who drive slowly in the passing lane. A few days before, a non-dynamic duo was caught with 32.2 pounds of pot (worth $140,000) in a 2012 Dodge Durango (ostensibly not a rental). And yes, the driver of that Durango also picked up the same three charges -- possession with intent to distribute, no drug tax stamps, and a left-lane violation. It's truly remarkable how many crimes would go undetected if the criminals simply kept right except to pass.


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