Police arrest suspect found sleeping in car next to over $16K in bundled cash

Stock image | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A call to police about a suspicious person in Hurricane on Saturday led to the arrest of a Las Vegas man who was found sleeping inside of a car, right next several bundles of cash in the front passenger seat.

File photo for illustrative purposes only of state Route 9 near the Quail Lake Estates, Hurricane, Utah, June 25, 2020 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, officers responded shortly before noon to a report of a suspicious person in a parking lot who was sitting in a vehicle that witnesses said had been left running for several hours.

Hurricane Police Officer Dan Raddatz told St. George News the car was found in the parking lot of an attorney’s office just off state Route 9 south of the Hurricane Walmart.

Officers arrived and found a man in the vehicle sleeping in the driver’s seat. Officers also noticed a large amount of cash located on the passenger side seat. When asked for identification, the driver provided a driver’s license that had a photo that did not match the man, the report states, and when confronted about the discrepancy, the suspect repeated it was his license, said his name and spelled it as “Roko,” which was inconsistent with the license listing the last name as “Rocio.” The suspect also told police he was traveling from out of state.

The driver was handcuffed and detained while officers conducted a preliminary search of the car. Inside they found “at least four” other driver’s licenses issued out of South Dakota, each with the suspect’s photo but under different names, as well as accompanying checks matching each of the different names. Officers learned later that all the licenses were fraudulent.

As the search continued, officers also found “several stacks of cash,” the report states, totaling more than $16,680, as well as several credit cards issued under different individuals’ names. They also recovered more than $37,000 in government checks that were later determined to be forged.

Officers also found methamphetamine that later field tested as positive.

The suspect was arrested and booked in Purgatory Correctional Facility under the name of “John Doe.” He is being held without bail until he can be positively identified by police.

Raddatz said the suspect’s fingerprints were taken during the booking process and run through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System national database in search of a match. He said as of noon on Monday, they were still working to identify the suspect.

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.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!