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ST. GEORGE — A Colorado man was sentenced to serve time in federal prison after a traffic stop led to the seizure of more than 80 pounds of methamphetamine – one of the largest seizures in Utah – in a case described as "tragic" involving a military veteran with a combat injury that reportedly led to addiction.
On Wednesday, 40-year-old Tyler Roland Bowers, appeared in U.S. District Court via video for sentencing on one felony count of possession of meth with intent to distribute – a federal charge he pleaded guilty to in October.
The case stems from a traffic stop that took place Feb. 27, when a Washington County sheriff's deputy observed a vehicle heading north on Interstate 15 near mile marker 7 in St. George with expired registration. During the stop, the driver told the deputy they were driving a rental car and were returning from a trip to California to their home in Denver, Colorado, according to charging documents filed with the court shortly after the arrest.
It was when Bowers was unable to find his driver's license that he held up "a large cocktail-style drink" and informed the deputy the car was rented in the passenger's name, 38-year-old Felicia Bowers, also of Denver, Colorado, who was too intoxicated to drive after drinking in Las Vegas, which he said is why he was behind the wheel when they were stopped, the report states.
During a search of the trunk, deputies found 81 pounds of suspected meth, in addition to 24 grams of heroin. The street value of the drugs was estimated to be as high as $2.9 million, Washington County Sheriff Lt. Dave Crouse told St. George News shortly after the arrest.