Authorities seize $1.6 million worth of meth, cocaine in Southern Utah

The Iron County Sheriff’s Office intercepted approximately 26 pounds of methamphetamine and 9 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $1.6 million dollars during a traffic stop on Interstate 15, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 25, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Iron County Sheriff’s Office intercepted approximately 26 pounds of methamphetamine and 9 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $1.6 million during a late-night traffic stop on Interstate 15.

Manuel Gallarso, of Los Angeles, booking photo posted Sept. 25, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

At approximately 11 p.m. Sunday, an Iron County Sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle for speeding 0n northbound I-15 near milepost 60, according to a statement issued by the Sheriff’s Office.

While talking with the driver, the deputy became suspicious of possible drug trafficking, authorities said. Cedar City Police responded to the traffic stop with a narcotics K-9 to conduct a “sniff” of the vehicle.

When the driver and passenger – identified as 28-year-old Roberto Lorenzo-Ruiz and 38-year-old Manuel Gallardo, both of Los Angeles – exited the vehicle, they fled the scene on foot, officials said. The two men crossed a 10-foot-tall deer fence before disappearing into a Cedar City neighborhood.

A search of the area was conducted by the Sheriff’s Office, Cedar City and Enoch City police departments, along with Utah Highway Patrol, but the two men were not immediately found.

The search continued for approximately three hours, the Sheriff’s Office said, noting that a citizen alert, or Reverse 911, was issued to residents in the area, advising citizens to lock their doors and be on the lookout for the suspects.

Roberto Lorenzo-Ruiz, of Los Angeles, booking photo posted Sept. 25, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

At approximately 9:50 a.m. Monday, Cedar City Police received a report of a suspicious person in the area of the Bicentennial Softball Complex, 660 W. 1045 North, officials said.

When police officers and sheriff’s deputies arrived in the area, they located two men matching the description of the two suspects who had fled the vehicle.

When deputies approached the suspects, a foot pursuit ensued. Both men were subsequently apprehended.

Lorenzo-Ruiz and Gallardo were arrested and charged with drug possession with the intent to distribute and failure to stop at command of police.

Authorities said a search of the suspects’ vehicle revealed the enormous quantity of drugs.

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: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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10 Comments

  • ladybugavenger September 26, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Are they legal?
    Uh oh better check the authenticity of their documents- they may have bought them in LA.

    • mctrialsguy September 27, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      They are Ed on the EDge’s peeps that followed him back form Mexico!

  • Caveat_Emptor September 26, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Kudos to the Iron County team for pursuing these guys after the trail went cold.
    Alert citizens acting as “sensors” have a terrific capability to assist law enforcement efforts.
    We know this is a small piece of the huge volume of illegal drugs moving through Utah, but warrants the efforts.
    Thank you!

  • jaltair September 26, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Good work on the part of all police, thank you. This bust got two of many drug traffickers off the grid!
    I don’t think Cedar City is a sanctuary city, so if appropriate, send them back to where they came from or lock them up for good!
    This is an example of what comes across the border and why we need more security including the border walls!

    • Real Life September 28, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Can’t just send them back, they are like cockroaches that won’t go away.

  • MCDavo September 27, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Excellent work by the agencies involved-Thank you!

  • utahdiablo September 27, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Another Job “Americans” are not willing to do? …..Crush these POS

  • mctrialsguy September 27, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Build The Wall, Build The Wall, Build The Wall, Build The Wall, Build The Wall, Build The Wall……………..

  • comments September 27, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    LOL.

    illegal mexicans: doing the job americans won’t do one meth traffic shipment at a time.

    we’re so blessed to have illegal mexicans

  • indy-vfr September 27, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    How about a bus ticket to Chicago. These are Rahm’s kind of people!!

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