High-Speed Chase Results in Snails Being Seized

Police in Oregon have confiscated several snails which were illegally transported between states during a high-speed pursuit.

According to Ontario Police Chief Steven Romero, the chase started after Anastasia Dickey, 33, was pulled over in Fruitland, Idaho.

He said she had driven from Utah and was pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants.

Dickey fled the scene and traveled onward to Oregon, according to details from Romero reported by the Argus Observer.

Romero said the suspect reached speeds of 92 miles per hour on Interstate 84 before turning into Ontario, where she slowed her vehicle.

Dickey's speed in the city ranged from 30 to 55 miles per hour and police deployed spikes in a bid to stop her.

The car eventually became high-centered on railroad tracks, leading police to contact Union Pacific and stop the trains, according to the Argus Observer.

Police said they found "a small amount of meth and in plain view, several snails."

They confiscated the methamphetamine and the snails.

After this, they contacted the relevant people involved in fish and wildlife at the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

The police said "transporting snails into the State of Oregon from Utah is illegal."

This is based on Oregon Administrative Rules from 1983, which were put in place because the state does not want import invasive species of snails.

The snails were identified as European brown garden snails, which are invasive and a common garden pest in California.

Entomologist Josh Vlach of the Oregon Department of Agriculture told the Observer on Friday that he had helped police officers with the identification and the relevant regulations.

European brown garden snails are used in escargot but are also "big and voracious eaters of plants and kind of just about anything", Vlach told the newspaper.

"There are lots of snails we don't want to come to Oregon," he said, noting that the state has an approved list of invertebrate species known as the white list, rather than a more common list of prohibited species. Vlach explained that a list of invertebrates banned in the state would be too long to compile.

Dickey was reportedly placed in custody on charges of reckless driving, attempting to elude a police officer, unlawful possession of meth over 2 grams, criminal trespass and driving under the influence (DUI).

There are currently no criminal charges brought against her for the transportation of the snails—as the matter is governed by state administrative rules. It is not currently clear where the snails are being held.

Newsweek has asked the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Ontario City Police Department for comment.

A Snail Crawls in a Nature Reserve
A snail crawls on a snag at Prioksko-Terrasny nature reserve outside the town of Serpukhov, Russia on July 12, 2019. Invasive snails have been seized in Oregon. YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images