ST. GEORGE — A California man is in jail after an officer in Washington City noticed a screw missing on the center console of the driver’s new vehicle, and underneath allegedly found a large bag of methamphetamine during a search of the car Saturday.
On Saturday an officer heading north on Interstate 15 noticed a black passenger car with a temporary registration tag issued out of California near mile marker 12 in Washington City shortly before 8 p.m., and began following the car when the driver “quickly” exited the interstate, according to charging documents file in 5th District Court.
The officer stopped the car for a traffic violation after the driver allegedly failed to stop before turning onto Washington Parkway.
While speaking to the driver, 45-year-old Camilo Ilario Nevarez, of Lakewood, California, the officer learned the man’s driver’s license was expired and he only had his state-issued ID card out of California.
According to the report, the officer asked the suspect to sit in his patrol car while he issued him a citation for the moving violation, during which the officer noted the suspect’s hands were shaking, he appeared to be very nervous and the suspect continuously looked back at his vehicle as he waited for the citation to be completed.
“I also observed him to be sweating uncontrollably,” the officer wrote, noting the temperature in the patrol vehicle was 56 degrees at the time.
The officer asked Nevarez if there was anything illegal inside the car, and he admitted to having a glass pipe allegedly used to smoke methamphetamine inside of the car. When questioned further, the report states the suspect also admitted there was a small plastic bag of methamphetamine under the driver’s seat as well.
The officer also noted that Nevarez stated the bag was going to appear to contain “a lot of methamphetamine but it really wasn’t.”
During a search of the car the officer found the bag where the suspect said it would be located and the glass pipe was also recovered nearby.
Near the floorboard the officer noticed the center console was missing a screw, and became suspicious since the driver told him he had just purchased the car three days before, charging documents revealed.
When the officer pulled up the center console he located a large plastic bag containing a white crystallized substance that a field test revealed contained more than two and one-half ounces of methamphetamine. Also recovered was a digital scale and a black backpack sitting on the seat.
Inside was a black box that contained a stack of what appeared to be fraudulent financial cards and IDs as well as bank cards in the names of other individuals. The officer also found several state-issued identification cards with Nevarez’s photo but imprinted with various names.
None of the driver’s licenses returned with any information when the officer ran them through the system.
During a search of the trunk the officer also recovered equipment used to make credit cards with several blank cards still in the machine.
All evidence was collected and turned over to detectives in Washington City to be investigated further.
Nevarez was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing second-degree felony possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He also has been charged with five third-degree felony counts each of forgery, false ID document and possession of a lost/mislaid financial card, along with third-degree felony possession of a forgery device, and faces misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and a citation for running the stop sign.
The report states that when detectives have completed their investigation further charges may be forthcoming.
With the suspect being a California resident and a possible flight risk, the officer also requested he be held without bail. That order was signed by a district judge.
Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.
This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders 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.
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