CEDAR CITY — A traffic stop along Interstate 15 Wednesday afternoon ended with the arrest of two individuals and the seizure of cocaine, marijuana and between 3 and 4 pounds of rare, high-quality methamphetamine crystals.
The traffic stop was initiated after Iron County Sheriff’s Deputy Wade Lee clocked a vehicle traveling northbound at 94 mph in a 75 mph zone at mile marker 64. Once the vehicle was stopped, Lee approached the vehicle and said he could smell the odor of marijuana and noticed half a marijuana joint located in the door.
Pacoima, California, resident Rubie Kearns was driving the vehicle, and Steve Nie, of North Ridge, California, was riding as a passenger, Lee said. When asked if there was any marijuana in the vehicle, Kearns admitted there was some in the back seat.
After Lee searched the two suspects, Kearns was found to have marijuana on her person but Nie did not appear t0 have anything on him, Lee said.
A further search of the vehicle yielded the discovery of more drugs.
“In the back seat, in a shaving kit, I (found) a bag of cocaine wrapped in newspaper and pills containing meth, some other pills and a container of marijuana,” Lee said.
Upon interviewing the two suspects, Lee said, he started noticing significant inconsistencies in their stories. Both said they were on their way to Colorado, but Kearns said it was to look at a car that was for sale while Nie indicated it was to attend a baby shower.
Other inconsistencies came to light, as well, Lee said. When asked how long they had known each other, Kearns told officers it was more than four years, but Nie said they had only know each other for one year.
As the search of the vehicle continued, Lee said, he also located a syringe under the center console, which led him to another find.
“I looked at the back of the center console and it looked like it had been altered before,” Lee said. “So I took my knife and popped it open … and I could see three bags of meth sealed in vacuum packaging and wrapped in newspaper.”
The overall weight of the meth had not yet been taken at the time Lee spoke with St. George News, but it was estimated to be between 3 and 4 pounds, he said. The quality of the meth was quite pure and contained large crystals that are not often seen.
“One crystal … was around 4 inches long and 1 inch around, which is kind of a rare find,” Lee said.
The vehicle the two were traveling in was a rental car originally rented in Los Angeles. Oftentimes, people trafficking drugs will use rental cars because, if they are stopped by police, the cars are impounded and then returned back to the rental agency, Lee said.
The drug charges against the two were increased because of their past criminal records. Kearns is currently on probation for drug charges, and Nie is currently awaiting trial for a drug distribution charge from June 20. Both were arrested and booked into the Iron County Jail.
Kearns is charged with one second-degree felony count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, two second-degree felony counts of possession of cocaine and marijuana, and two class B misdemeanor counts for possession of drug paraphernalia and speeding.
Nie is charged with one second-degree felony count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, two second-degree felony counts of possession of cocaine and marijuana, and one class B misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia
Both Kearns’ and Nie’s bails for release are set at $30,000 cash only.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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