ST. GEORGE, Utah, Oct. 21, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A married couple from Bakersfield was arrested in the St. George area while allegedly on their way to a funeral, with a kilo of cocaine and two small children in their car.
A probable cause statement from the 5th District Court of St. George said Braulio Arrendondo-Bojorquez, 36, and Crispina Gamez-Camargo, 38 are each facing a charge of distribution of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony.
The arresting officer wrote in the statement he stopped a white Nissan Altima for following too close at milepost two, Southern Parkway, on Interstate 15 northbound, Friday at 8:42 p.m.
“During the course of the traffic stop, I came in contact with a male driver, female front passenger and two children ages 6 and 8,” the statement said. “I explained the violation to the driver and he stated he did not understand English. The children in the back seat stated they spoke English. I asked them to tell their father he was following another vehicle too close.”
The officer then asked for the driver’s operator’s license. He stated it was suspended for a previous DUI case. The officer asked the driver if he would come to his patrol car so they could speak further. Once in the patrol vehicle, the officer contacted a translator, who subsequently spoke to the man.
“After the conversation with the male the translator told me the driver was going to his wife’s aunt’s funeral in Utah,” the statement said. “He was not sure where in Utah he was traveling to and did not know the name of the aunt who passed away. He told the translator he was going to meet someone near the I-70 exit and they were going to follow them to the place the funeral would be taking place.”
The arresting officer said he became suspicious and asked the translator to ask the driver for consent to search the car. The driver gave verbal consent for a vehicle search.
“I made contact with the female in the vehicle; the wife of the male driver, and her children,” the statement said. “I explained to them I was going to be searching the vehicle and all contents in the car. The female exited with her children holding her purse. I asked if she would leave the purse in the car. She consented and handed me the purse which was extremely heavy. I then began the search. During the search I located a kilo of suspected cocaine located in the female’s purse.”
The man and woman were placed in handcuffs, and the Division of Child and Family Services was called for the children. The couple was interviewed by the State Bureau of Investigation and then booked into the Washington County Jail for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. Their bail was set at $10,000 each.
“It should be noted that the criminal history of the male showed he had two prior charges for possession of dangerous drugs with the intent to distribute,” the statement said.