ST. GEORGE – A California man and woman were arrested Saturday when they were discovered to be in possession of an array of drugs inside their van after being pulled over for running a red light.
While traveling east on Sunset Boulevard in St. George, Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Jesse Williams noticed a white Ford Aerostar van turn right onto Valley View Drive without stopping at a red light at the intersection, according to a probable cause statement filed by Williams in support of the arrest.
Williams initiated a traffic stop of the van.
When Williams approached the two occupants of the van, identified as 26-year-old Amber Nicole Ancalade and 22-year-old Luigi Vincenzo Mancuso, both of Lodi, California, he could smell the odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle, according to the statement.
“It smelled like someone had spilled a beer inside the van,” Williams said in the statement.
When Williams questioned Ancalade about the smell of alcohol, according to the statement, she told him she thought it might be coming from a blanket in the back of the van they had spilled beer.
Williams asked the two to get out of the van while he checked the driver and passenger seating area for open containers of alcohol.
“I noticed that there were no seats in the rear of the van,” Williams said. “There was a mattress and pillows, along with personal belongings scattered through the rear of the van.”
A large woman’s purse was discovered between the driver and passenger seat.
“The top of the purse was open and the contents of the purse were visible,” Williams wrote in the statement. “I could see a glass pipe with scorch marks on the bowl portion in plain view in the purse.”
The drug paraphernalia gave Williams probable cause to search the entire vehicle for contraband.
As officers searched the van, they discovered a distributable amount of a white crystalline substance which tested positive for methamphetamine, a distributable amount of a black tarry substance which tested positive for an opiate, and marijuana, according to the statement.
“(Ancalade) told me they were methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana,” Williams said. “Ancalade further told me she had last used heroin this morning.”
Mancuso and Ancalade were arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
Ancalade was charged with two third-degree felonies for drug possession; three class B misdemeanors for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, and failing to obey a traffic signal; and one class C misdemeanor for driving under the influence of a controlled substances.
Mancuso was charged with two third-degree felonies for drug possession, and two class B misdemeanors for drug and drug paraphernalia possession. His bail pending trial stands at $11,246.
The two are scheduled to make their initial court appearance on Monday.
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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