Driver arrested after speeding near Cedar City; drugs, credit card skimmers found in car

Joshua Gene McGowan. Photo Courtesy: Iron County Sheriff

CEDAR CITY, Utah, July 7, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A man was arrested after driving at 94 mph near Cedar City — then troopers allegedly found drugs, credit card skimmers and other illegal items in his car.

A probable cause statement from the 5th District Court of Cedar City said Joshua Gene McGowan, 27, is facing charges of:

  • Receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, a second-degree felony
  • False information to law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor
  • Possession of a controlled substance schedule I/II, a class A misdemeanor
  • Possession of a controlled substance marijuana/spice, a class B misdemeanor
  • Driving with a measurable amount of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
  • Speeding, an infraction

The arresting officer was patrolling in Iron County, Utah, at milepost 67, running radar of southbound traffic, the statement said.

“I observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed,” the statement said. “Confirmed 94 mph in a 80 zone. I made a stop. The driver admitted to speeding. The driver did not have any ID in the vehicle and no paperwork to prove that he could have the vehicle, he stated it was at Motel 6 in Beaver and his uncle Dennis is the renter of the vehicle and he had the paperwork.”

There was a strong odor of raw marijuana coming from the vehicle, the statement said.

The driver then gave a fake name and date of birth to the officer, which turned out to be the real name of another person.

“I told him I smelled marijuana and he stated there was nothing and I could search,” the statement said. “He then handed me a cookie that contained marijuana. He then told me that the others he was with had it and they all smoked it yesterday at a hotel, Motel 6, in Beaver.”

A search of the vehicle then showed a methamphetamine pipe with residue and an empty container with marijuana shake inside driver side door, the statement said. In the passenger door, the officer found anther empty container of marijuana with shake. On the center console the officer found two credit cards with the name Joshua McGowan. The driver then admitted that was his name.

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“He was taken into custody at that point, for giving me a false name of a real person, which I had run and showed he was valid,” the statement said.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car was the owner of the vehicle and advised it was stolen.

McGowan admitted to officers that he gave officers his friend’s name because he, McGowan, had a warrant out of Los Angeles for his arrest, and his driver’s license is revoked.

“When searching the car for further illegal contraband, we found a dollar bill contained what looked to be cocaine and NIK System of Narcotics Identification tested positive for cocaine,” the statement said. “Also located through out this vehicle were skimmers, fraudulent checks, washed checks, and other financial information, not belonging to Mr. McGowan, or the other occupants.”

The driver, the sole occupant, stated he had used both meth and marijuana the day before, the statement said. Tests showed signs of recent use. He had facial tremors and body tremors, the statement said.

McGowan was transported to Iron County Jail with his bail set at $33,990.

The statement also said: “I am asking for high bail or no bail at this time. He is a flight risk and we are working on getting a warrant for the room and other two subjects he was with who are in Beaver. There are more stolen social security numbers, cards, narcotics, checks, computers, skimmers and other items linked to criminal behavior. We most likely will be amending this with more charges.”

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