Man busted after UHP finds 100 pounds of marijuana in his trunk

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ST. GEORGE — Utah Highway Patrol troopers arrested a man early Thursday morning after discovering more than 100 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of his car.

A UHP trooper, whose name is withheld in this report due to the sensitive nature of his position with UHP, conducted a traffic stop on a silver passenger car driven by Diego Viera, of Fresno, California, after noticing the vehicle had no taillights. The trooper approached the car and spoke with Viera, and Viera told the trooper he was unaware of the missing taillights, according to a probable cause statement filed by the trooper in support of Viera’s arrest.

Diego Viera booking photo posted Nov. 20, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff's Office, St. George News
Diego Viera, booking photo posted Nov. 20, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Viera also told the trooper the vehicle was a rental and that he had lost his driver’s license, the trooper said in the statement. When asked to write down his identifying information for the trooper, Viera gave him the name Raymon Viera.

“As he was writing this down, I could see that he had to stop and think about the birthday as well as the name,” the trooper said in the statement.

The passenger in the car, 20-year-old Marlina Simental, said her grandmother had rented the car, and she gave the trooper the rental agreement. The two said they were traveling to Illinois to visit family, but neither was sure where exactly in Illinois they were going.

After running the name and date of birth Viera provided, the trooper said no matches came back, but Viera repeatedly told the trooper that was his correct name. Since he could not be correctly identified, Viera’s was checked for weapons.

During the check, the trooper located a wallet containing large amounts of cash as well as two different California state ID cards  one for a Ramon Viera Jr. and another for a Diego Viera, the trooper said in the statement. When asked whom the cards belonged to, Viera said one was his and the other belonged to his twin brother.

“I could visually see that the dates did not match up to being twins, and that (Viera) was a match to the California ID card,” the trooper said in the statement.

Viera was placed under arrest for incorrectly identifying himself as his brother. When asked if there were any illegal items in the car, Viera told the trooper there were not.

The trooper told Viera there was a K-9 unit on the way to the scene and that the unit would search the vehicle.

“After a moment, Diego said he wanted to be honest with me and admitted that there was a lot of drugs in the trunk of the vehicle,” the trooper said in the statement.

After opening the car’s trunk, the trooper found three large trash bags containing vacuum-sealed bags filled with a green, leafy substance suspected to be marijuana. The weight of all three bags was approximately 100 pounds, according to the statement.

The vehicle containing the drugs was towed to the Utah Highway Patrol facility in Hurricane for further investigation.

Viera was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Facility, charged with possession of 100 pounds or more of marijuana, a second-degree felony; providing false information to an officer, a class A misdemeanor; driving on a suspended license, a class B misdemeanor; and driving without working taillights, a class C misdemeanor.

Viera was being held on $10,420 bail but has since posted bond and been released from custody, according to current bookings information. (See ed. note)

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

Ed. note: Bail and custody information updated Nov. 21, 10:50 p.m.

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22 Comments

  • Slathers November 21, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Should this UHP officer not be working currently? How sensitive can his position be if he is making a traffic stop?

    • Cami Cox Jim Cami Cox Jim November 21, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Certain law enforcement agencies have requested that we not identify officers who are involved in drug investigations.

  • gretch November 21, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    *due

  • gretch November 21, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    “A UHP trooper, whose name is withheld in this report do to the sensitive nature…”

    *due to the…

    • Cami Cox Jim Cami Cox Jim November 21, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Thank you. That has been corrected.

  • Koolaid November 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    There are some busty women with what appears to be 100 lbs of junk in the trunk.

  • S Steed November 21, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    If they brought that to “Have lunch with a Cop” then a whole bunch of people would show up, there would be all this love for our policemen, and we would come away with all these creative insightful ideas of creating solutions in our community. But NO… drugs are bad.

  • Billy November 21, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Well another fine upstanding citizen. If you going to hall drugs your car needs to be in working order, and have ID. That is alot of dope. Someone is not going to be happy.

    • Zonkerb November 22, 2014 at 10:47 am

      You don’t hall drugs.. you HAUL drugs and you are judging others..? LOL

  • Knan November 21, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Pounds in the trash bag Gucci do the dishes

  • lp November 21, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Im starting to think these dealers don’t drive around with tail lights and things like that out. I kinda think its a ruse cops use to pull over people who look like drug dealers….As the great Ron White says “That’s Profilin'”.

  • PigKnuckle November 21, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Funny his name is withheld here, but it wasn’t “sensitive” enough for Washinton County to keep it off the bookings!

  • Zonkerb November 21, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Another politician in the making

  • munchie November 21, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Maybe the UHP could send some of that dope to the St. George Police “No Dancing” unit. A couple of “hits” may be what they need to loosen up. Send some to the city council, too

  • PROTECT THE SHEEP November 21, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    If cannabis became legal these illegals would have to find other ways to get into trouble 😉

    • Zonkerb November 25, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Yeah like illegal yard work

  • concerned citizen November 22, 2014 at 6:24 am

    i like how they describe marijuana as a “green, leafy” substance. if this guy is selling weed with leaves in it then he definitely deserved to be arrested for being a crappy drug dealer.

  • Mr. Winkle November 22, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Highway patrol have always been known for being tail light chasers. Looks like it paid off a bit this time.

  • Stop It November 23, 2014 at 8:57 am

    How many profile stops do cops make before they make an actual bust?

    • Devan November 23, 2014 at 10:07 am

      I have been “Profiled” twice in the last week, and both times was eventually allowed to leave since I wasn’t being “Detained” : ( Just a regular fellar that works more then 8 hours daily, and both times was after a hard days of work! Thank you SGPD for wasting both of our time simply because I drive a “Suspicious” completely legal vehicle ; )

      • Koolaid November 24, 2014 at 9:27 am

        Maybe you just look illegal

  • jblaw November 24, 2014 at 8:05 am

    I guess the UHP is a breeding ground for Super Troopers. This trooper didnt release his name because he is afraid to. He carries a gun and a badge and he claims to protect and serve but he does not have the courage or the integrity to put his name behind his actions.. He is a trooper not James Bond, not DEA. Apparently few believe his work is sensitive.. He just wans to pretend that he is a secret agent man.

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