Fake FedEx van carrying half-ton of contraband seized near St. George

A van disguised as a Federal Express delivery vehicle was stopped by Arizona officers in St. George, Utah, and was found to contain illegal drugs. Photos: Arizona Department of Transportation

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Feb. 6, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Officers in Arizona stopped a fake Federal Express van filled with trash bags packed with a contraband on Tuesday when they vehicle stopped in the Port of Entry in St. George.

“Arizona Department of Transportation officers aided by one of the agency’s K-9 units seized more than a half ton of marijuana Tuesday evening from a fake delivery van spotted on Interstate 15 in far northwestern Arizona,” an Arizona Department of Transportation tweet says.

“While the van had authentic-looking markings of a commercial package-delivery service, an officer with ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division noticed that the vehicle, traveling northbound toward the Virgin River Gorge, had an out-of-state license plate on the front.”

Local delivery vans have local license plates, the ADOT officer realized. A check of records showed the van was registered to a resident of North Carolina, the statement says.

“The officer, who was traveling in the opposite direction when he spotted the vehicle, alerted other ADOT officers, one of whom caught up with the van and noted several traffic violations as it traveled I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge. Another ADOT officer then stopped the van and noted inconsistencies in the driver’s story as the two other ADOT officers arrived.”

A drug-sniffing dog was called in, and “detected illegal substances,” the statement says.

“In searching the vehicle, the officers found large bags containing 1,113 pounds of marijuana, as well as 5 grams of a mushroom-based hallucinogenic, three vials of illegal steroids and $7,850.”

The driver, a 48-year-old man, was booked into the Mesquite (Nev.) Detention Center pending transfer to the Mohave (Ariz.) County Jail in Kingman. The van was taken to ADOT’s commercial port of entry in St. George, the statement says.

“Last year, ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division began using K-9 units based out of commercial ports of entry next to California, New Mexico and Utah to help reduce smuggling of drugs and people.”


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