High-speed chase results in 2 arrests, safe full of meth

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BEAVER — A high-speed chase through two counties that reached speeds of 115 mph ended early Friday with the arrests of two people and the recovery of 10 pounds of methamphetamine.

About 11:45 p.m. Thursday, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper pulled over a vehicle on a minor traffic violation in Iron County, said UHP Sgt. Todd Royce.

"During the stop, he became suspicious of criminal activity and called for a K-9 to respond," he said.

The driver and a female passenger were "not very cooperative throughout the stop" and remained in their car, Royce said. When the K-9 indicated there may be narcotics, the trooper ordered them to get out.

Instead, "the driver rolled up the window and fled north on I-15," Royce said.

The ensuing chase lasted more than 50 miles and reached speeds of 115 mph. Troopers were able to spike one of the fleeing vehicle's tires at one point, and then two more 7 miles later.

About 8 miles after that, near Beaver, the driver of the fleeing vehicle had to slow down due to semitrailers in front of the car, Royce said. Because the vehicle now had three flat tires, the car was only able to go about 45 mph, he said. At that point, a trooper used his patrol car to perform at PIT maneuver, disabling the fleeing vehicle.

Jose Antonio Chavez, 26, and Yessenia Mendoza, 26, were arrested for investigation of failing to stop at an officer's commands. Chavez was also booked into the Iron County Jail for investigation of drug distribution and reckless driving. Royce did not know where the couple was from.

In the trunk of the vehicle, investigators located a safe with 10 pounds of methamphetamine inside, according to Royce.


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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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