Rollover in Iron County leads to arrest for drug, theft charges

Stock image | Photo by Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — A report of an overturned vehicle near the Three Peaks Recreation area on Monday led to the arrest of the driver on multiple drug charges.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by the Iron County Sheriff’s Office in support of the arrest, the overturned vehicle was noticed shortly before noon by an Iron County VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service) volunteer who was patrolling in the area.

While a Sheriff’s Office deputy was en route to the scene, he ran a check of the license plate and found that the vehicle had been stolen out of Las Vegas, according to the affidavit.

“I arrived on scene and witnessed two adults, one male, one female, sitting next to the overturned vehicle,” the officer wrote, adding that the man, identified in charging documents as 30-year-old Daniel James Hernandez, then admitted he was a drug user and had traveled from Las Vegas to Cedar City that morning.

Hernandez was described as being “erratic” and “scattered” in his conversation with investigators. He reportedly told the deputy he was still high on meth, “and that’s why he was acting the way he was,” the deputy wrote.

Booking photo of Daniel James Hernandez, Iron County Jail, Cedar City, Utah, May 18, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

During the subsequent search, deputies reportedly found “large amounts” of drugs and paraphernalia throughout the vehicle and on Hernandez’s person. The controlled substances included marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine and prescription pills, while the paraphernalia included pipes and needles, the affidavit states.

In addition, several tools associated with burglary, including a lock pick kit and bolt cutters, were found in or near the vehicle.

Hernandez was arrested Monday afternoon and taken to Iron County Jail, where he was booked on suspicion of several charges, including receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, a second degree felony, along with multiple misdemeanor charges, including driving under the influence of drugs, drug possession, prescription forgery, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of burglary tools.

Hernandez, who remains in jail in lieu of $15,000 bail, made his initial court appearance on Thursday and has a roll call hearing scheduled for Tuesday in 5th District Court, according to court documents.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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