Traffic stop of dangerous driver speeding 20MPH over the posted limit, leads to drug distribution arrest #VisionZero

Posted on 07/09/2020 at 06:21 PM
Kevin Marples

On the afternoon of Wednesday, July 8th, an officer with the Boulder Police Department Traffic Unit was parked in the area of Foothills and Pearl Parkway for traffic enforcement in the area. The posted speed limit on Foothills Parkway at this location is 45MPH. At the time of this incident, the officer was utilizing a Laser LIDAR device, which uses time & distance calculations to track the speed of a moving object.

Using the LIDAR, the officer tracked the vehicle going 65MPH on southbound Foothills. The officer then initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle. The driver advised he did not have his wallet or driver’s license and provided multiple variations of his name before finally giving the correct details. Troy Thorson was eventually positively identified as the driver and through a law enforcement database search, the officer confirmed Thorson’s driver’s license status was suspended. Thorson also had a felony level arrest warrant for his arrest and was unable to provide any insurance documents at the time of the traffic stop.

Because of the arrest warrant, Thorson was arrested and subsequently transported to the Boulder County Jail. In accordance with standard operating procedures and the fact that the only occupant of the vehicle was arrested, officers then requested the vehicle be towed after completing an inventory of any dangerous and/or valuable items in the vehicle. During this inventory, multiple bags of suspected street drugs as well as a multiple scales were located.

The suspected drugs were seized from the vehicle prior to it being towed and the drugs were then tested at the Boulder Police Department. The drugs tested presumptive positive for cocaine and methamphetamine. In total, Thorson had over 489 grams of these drugs in the vehicle at the time of his arrest.

Thorson was charged with the following crimes:

  • Unlawful possession of methamphetamine
  • Unlawful possession of cocaine
  • Unlawful distributions of a controlled substance
  • Speeding – 20MPH over
  • Driving under restraint
  • Operating uninsured motor vehicle

On March 1, 2020 new laws went into effect in reference to the classification of the possession of controlled substances in Colorado. As of March 1st, the possession of less than four grams of a controlled substance is a class 1 drug misdemeanor. Possession of more than four grams is a level 4 drug felony. To view more about HB19-1263, which was the bill that changed the penalty of these violation, click here.

Vision Zero is the Boulder community's goal to reduce the number of traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries to zero. At its core, this goal is inspired by the belief that  traffic collisions are preventable, and even one fatality is too many.

Boulder has joined leading-edge cities across the country and the world that are working toward this goal. Reaching it requires safe street design, enforcement, strong community partnerships— and you. 

Vision Zero was adopted in 2014 as part of the city's Transportation Master Plan and uses a  data-driven approach to increasing the safety of Boulder's streets. Safety has always been a top priority of the city. By tracking the places where collisions and close calls occur most often—and the behaviors and situations that lead to them—staff can make targeted improvements to street design, enforcement and outreach efforts in places where they are needed the most.

To learn more about #VisionZero – click here

All charges are simply an accusation by law enforcement officers and any arrested party must be presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.