Suspicious speaker box nets seizure of nearly $500K in narcotics in southern Utah

More than 2 pounds each of suspected cocaine, fentanyl pills and heroin were seized during a traffic stop in Washington, May 11.

More than 2 pounds each of suspected cocaine, fentanyl pills and heroin were seized during a traffic stop in Washington, May 11. (Washington Police Department, St. George News)



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

ST. GEORGE — Tool marks on a speaker box led to the seizure of nearly half a million dollars in narcotics during a traffic stop on Interstate 15 in Washington.

On Wednesday, a Washington police officer noticed a non-functioning brake light on a white passenger car heading north on I-15 near mile marker 12 with California plates obscured by the bracket securing the plate to the vehicle, according to charging documents filed with the court.

The car was stopped 1 mile north near mile marker 13, where the driver reportedly told police he did not have a driver's license and handed over his cellphone, which contained a photo of his California ID card instead. The driver was identified as 30-year-old Jose Mateo.

The report also states the officer noticed two women sleeping in the car, one sitting in the front passenger seat, 35-year-old Patricia Karley Moreno, while the other was in the rear seat who was identified as 36-year-old Roxanna Hernandez.

While running a background check on the driver, the officer discovered Mateo had an active warrant for his arrest that was confirmed as matching the suspect by name, date of birth, previous address and Social Security number.

The officer deployed his K-9 for a free-air sniff around the exterior of the vehicle, which is when the animal indicated the possible presence of narcotics by sitting near where the odor was detected, officers say.

Read the full article at St. George News.

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Cody Blowers
Cody Blowers is a reporter for St. George News. A graduate of Colorado Technical University, Cody earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in paralegal studies.

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