Grand County traffic stop leads to arrest, recovery of heroin, thousands of illegal pills

File photo: Max Pixel

GRAND COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 2, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A 34-year-old man has been booked into the Grand County jail on four felony drug charges after a traffic stop on Saturday.

Suspect Joshua Rene Perez, 34, faces charges of:

  • Four counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a second-degree felony
  • Following another vehicle too close, an infraction
  • Obstruction reducing windshield visibility, an infraction
  • No valid license, expired, an infraction

A Grand County Sheriff‘s deputy was watching traffic from an Interstate 70 median, according to the probable cause statement he filed in the case of Perez. He saw Perez driving an eastbound silver Hyundai and “following a semi way too closely,” the statement says.

“I attempted to catch up to the vehicle to conduct a traffic stop on it. As I caught up to the vehicle I observed a GPS suction cup in the middle of the front windshield
obstructing the driver’s view. The vehicle was still following the semi too closely. I conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle at mile marker 185.”

That I-70s marker is just west of Thompson Springs and about 22 miles east of Green River.

The officer stopped Perez, the vehicle’s sole occupant, and told him the reason for the stop, then requested the suspect produce a driver license, the arrest affidavit says.

“Joshua provided an identification card only and advised his driver’s license was suspended. While Joshua was locating his paperwork, I observed a large amount of what appeared to be M30 fentanyl pills in the center console not in a prescription bottle. I asked Joshua to exit the vehicle.”

The officer’s report says a vehicle search turned up “roughly 2,000 M30 pills along with roughly 1,000 Percocets, and roughly 500 Norco pills. Conclusion: Joshua was arrested and transported to the Grand County Jail to be booked. Upon review of my cage camera, Joshua made a statement about me possibly missing something on the initial search.”

M30 fentanyl pills are counterfeit oxycodone pills, which can cause a serious risk of overdose, according to this Department of Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration fact sheet.

A search warrant was granted on the vehicle, and a subsequent search turned up “2.8 pounds of of heroin in a garbage bag and one additional bag of roughly 2,000 M30 fentanyl pills,” the deputy’s statement says.

Perez is being held without bail.


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