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ST. GEORGE — Utah Highway Patrol troopers made three arrests during two traffic stops on Interstate 15 in Iron County within 12 hours of one another last weekend – traffic stops that yielded more than 31 pounds of methamphetamine.
The first traffic stop took place on Friday when a UHP trooper was conducting traffic enforcement shortly before noon on northbound I-15 near mile marker 55 just before Cedar City. The trooper noticed a silver Kia Optima with window tint that appeared to be darker than was legal.
According to charging documents filed with the report, the trooper stopped the car at mile marker 65, just a few miles north of Cedar City, and after speaking to the driver, identified as 25-year-old Sergio Baez Jr., the trooper learned through a records check that Baez Jr. was on probation out of Idaho and was driving on a suspended license.
A records check on the passenger, 24-year-old Nikolaus Garcia, also of Idaho, revealed his license was also suspended.
The trooper reportedly became suspicious when he found several inconsistencies with their stories, and when he asked if he could conduct a search of the vehicle, both men declined to consent. A tow truck was dispatched to the scene to tow the car, since neither suspect was legally authorized to drive.