Police say they found 30 pounds of meth during Iron County traffic stop

Stock image | Photo by Barbol88/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Two men that were pulled over for speeding in Iron County Thursday night were subsequently arrested after police reportedly found 30 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the trunk of the vehicle.

Iron County Jail booking photo of Carlos Alberto Caballero, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 14, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

Carlos Alberto Caballero, 25, and Carlos Humberto Bustamante Avila, 24, were both booked into Iron County Jail shortly after midnight Friday, with each facing similar charges. They each were booked on suspicion of one count of distributing or offering to distribute a controlled substance, a second degree felony, in addition to misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to probable cause statements filed on Friday in support of the arrests, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper stopped the men’s vehicle for going 84 mph in an 80 mph zone. The stop was made on northbound Interstate 15 at about mile marker 65, UHP reported.

“During the stop, I noticed several criminal indicators that led me to believe that the two subjects in the vehicle were involved in criminal activity,” the trooper wrote, adding, “The driver at first gave permission to search the vehicle, then after the search was started revoked his consent.”

Iron County Jail booking photo of Carlos Humberto Bustamante Avila, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 14, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

UHP then requested assistance from an Iron County Sheriff’s Deputy and his K-9 drug-detecting dog, who positively indicated the presence of narcotics. 

A subsequent search of the vehicle’s interior revealed two suitcases in the trunk, with approximately 30 pounds of methamphetamine packaged in gallon-sized plastic bags and hidden behind the inside liner of the suitcases, the affidavit said.

UHP estimated the total street value of that much methamphetamine to be between $600,000 and $1 million.

Although Caballero is reported to be from California, Avila’s probable cause statement indicates that he does not appear to be a U.S. resident, but rather a citizen of Mexico with an allegedly fake permanent resident card. 

This report is based on information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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

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