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30 lbs of Marijuana Discovered After Man Tries to Ignite Vehicle, Self During OSP Traffic Stop
04/06/2011
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid 30 days - Sources:
Klamath County Sheriff's Office
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Oregon State Police
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A Maryland man was arrested by Oregon State Police (OSP) Tuesday night north of Klamath Falls on multiple charges when during a traffic stop the man dowsed himself and the vehicle's interior with lighter fluid and ignited it. OSP troopers removed the man before he was injured and extinguished the fire before it caused major damage to the vehicle in which troopers found about 30 lbs of marijuana.
 
According to Lieutenant Jason Westfall, on April 5, 2011 at 10:50 p.m. an OSP trooper stopped a rented 2011 Jeep Cherokee on Highway 97 near milepost 236 for a traffic violation. During the course of the traffic stop and contact with driver LESTER KASTEN, age 45, from Owings Mills, Maryland, the trooper developed probable cause to the search the vehicle. As the trooper approached the driver to inform him of the intent to search the vehicle, KASTEN had dowsed himself and the vehicle's interior with lighter fluid. Using a lighter in his hand, KASTEN ignited the interior of the rented vehicle.
 
Troopers removed KASTEN before he sustained any injury and then extinguished the fire before Chiloquin Fire Department arrived to assist. Damage to the vehicle's interior was minor.
 
Subsequent search led to the discovery of approximately 30 pounds of marijuana inside a suitcase in the vehicle. Estimated value of the seized marijuana is $75,000.
 
KASTEN was initially taken to Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls for a medical evaluation and then lodged in the Klamath County Jail on the following charges:
  • Unlawful Possession / Distribution of a Controlled Substance - Marijuana
  • Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession / Distribution of a Controlled Substance -Marijuana
  • Arson in the Second Degree
  • Tampering With Evidence
  • Criminal Mischief in the First Degree
  • Interfering With a Police Officer
  • Disorderly Conduct
 
The OSP Drug Enforcement Section is assisting with the investigation.