Driver, passenger stopped in Iron County found with estimated $2.75M in narcotics

Photo: Utah Highway Patrol

IRON COUNTY, Utah, March 8, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Two people stopped by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper on Interstate 15 in Iron County Sunday because of too blue headlights and too darkly tinted windows ended up in jail after an officer found 25 pounds of fentanyl in the form of about 110,000 pills.

Post Miranda, suspect Manuel Hernandez Montes, 41, “admitted that he and the passenger knew that the purpose of the trip was to pick up the narcotics and transport them to Colorado. When the packages were weighed at the Section 11 Office it was found to be approximately 25 pounds of total weight. I know based on my experience that it is approximately 110,000 pills.”

The statement also says, “If sold at the street level in Cedar City, the total estimate value of the narcotics is $2.75 million.”

Fentanyl. File photo: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration/https://www.dea.gov

A records check also revealed that Hernandez Montes had no driver license and had never obtained one. In all, he faces initial charges of:

  • Possession with intent to distribute a class C substance, a second-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance schedule I/II/analog, a class A misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
  • No valid license, never obtained, an infraction
  • Window tint violation, an infraction
  • Sale or use of unapproved lighting equipment or device, an infraction

His passenger, suspect Azucena Nevarez, 40, faces charges of:

  • Possession with intent to distribute a class C substance, a second-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance schedule I/II/analog, a class A misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

Both suspects were booked into the Iron County jail without bail.

Iron County Jail, Cedar City. Photo: Google Streets

 

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