Police bust six for drugs, counterfeit money at Pilot Travel Center

Police bust six California residents for drugs, guns, and counterfeit bills at the Pilot Travel Center in Bloomington. Dec. 19, 2013 | Photo courtesy of Tammy Teeples

ST. GEORGE — St. George Police arrested six people after they discovered counterfeit bills, a stolen gun, over two pounds of methamphetamine and other drugs in a camping trailer on Thursday evening at the Pilot Travel Center truck stop near the Interstate 15 exit in Bloomington.

Police made the arrests after a clerk at the gas station informed the police that one of the suspects, Can Whaley, 42, of Bellflower, Calif., had attempted to pass a counterfeit bill, according to a statement by St. George Police Officer Derek Lewis.

After obtaining and executing a search warrant to search the trailer, police discovered a stolen .9 mm pistol, over two pounds of methamphetamine, a small amount of marijuana, hydrocodone pills (a prescription narcotic), counterfeit bills, and a printer that police believe was used to produce the counterfeit money, according to a probable cause statement filed Friday morning. The Washington County Drug Task Force assisted in the vehicle search.

Julie Shapero, of Paramount, Calif., Coleen Sanford, of Huntington Beach, Calif., and James Hayes, of Westminister, Calif., were all charged with possession of a stolen weapon, receiving stolen property, two misdemeanor counts of marijuana possession, and one felony count of possession of a controlled substance. According to the probable cause statement, the drug charges were enhanced because the arrests occurred near a neighboring LDS church on Brigham Road.

Monty Darrin, of Paramount, Calif., Felicia Montigo, of Bellflower, Calif., and Whaley all face the same charges, along with a felony charge of possession of a forgery device. Whaley faces an additional felony charge for his attempt to pass his forged bill at the Pilot Travel Center.

All six suspects were booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility. Bail has been set at $50,000 each.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @mflynnSTGN

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Police bust six California residents for drugs, guns, and counterfeit bills at the Pilot Travel Center in Bloomington. Dec. 19, 2013 | Photo courtesy of Tammy Teeples


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  • Mark December 20, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Would the charges also be enhanced had this happened near a Catholic, Lutheran or any other type of church ?

    • george December 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      To mark, yes any church school or park.

    • Patti December 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Ha Mark…I was wondering the same.

  • Carly December 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    If charges were enhanced because of them being so close to a church shouldn’t anyone who’s gotten a drug charge in st. george area also have enhanced charges since there is a church or school on just about every block here

    • Real Life December 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      Exactly. If a new school, fire station, or housing development goes up, so does an LDS church.

  • B December 20, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    That’s the idea behind these kind of laws CARLEY^^^.

  • yolanda December 21, 2013 at 2:53 am

    It’s under the state code for drug free zones if you ever get bored enough to research it. Any church, synagogue, house of worship etc. schools, day care centers (including those out of private residences but are run as a commercial business) and I think there are several other things. As for the parks, you have to be inside the park in order for that to apply. So yes, the vast majority of St. George is a drug free zone and the charges can be enhanced, it’s just up to the officer’s discretion I suppose…

  • Dave December 21, 2013 at 6:36 am

    What kind of comment is that!! “would the charges have been the same near another church”? You people are retarded. I’m not a Mormon but am so sick and tired if all the winers and complainers out there about the Mormon church. They are one of the main reason why our town is so safe because we have so many Mormons living here. Open tour eyes or go back to wherever the hell you came from Mark.

  • ladybugavenger December 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    What were they thinking? You can’t be spending counterfeit money and carry 2 pounds of meth without getting caught along the way. That’s a recipe for disaster. I wonder if they were passing through or was st george their destination. Anyone know?

    • nicciann January 25, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      They were just passing through Utah.

  • Mark December 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Dave, IDIOT the story should have said “a church” there is a 90% chance that it will be a Mormon church, you moron it was obviously a joke!

    • Real Life December 21, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      Quite sure “Dave” will not be adding a comment on Sunday.

  • Steve December 21, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    There is another christian church just south of the truck stop. I don’t think it matters that there was also an LDS building in the vicinity.

  • curtis January 2, 2014 at 9:47 am

    The state codes would be noticeably tighter and prudent if these crimes occur ed close to a Jewish Synagogue. Small town antics..

  • dawn baker January 19, 2014 at 2:41 am

    The crimes really started in bellflower they left California in hope of going to Montana to sell the drugs they had.also Rob people along the way

  • Jessa Ptrs February 21, 2014 at 3:17 am

    So Dawn, are a co- conspirator or an informant otherwise know a snitch? Just wondering where and how you have such detailed info about the case and feel compelled to put it out there as if you have factual information….cuz that would make you a co-defendant hun.

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