Man, woman arrested after high-speed pursuit in Juab County with baby in vehicle

Photo: Utah Highway Patrol

JUAB COUNTY, Utah, Dec. 30, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A man and woman were arrested Tuesday early evening after a high-speed pursuit through Juab County with an 8-month-old baby in their vehicle.

Shortly after 6 p.m., troopers stopped a black SUV on northbound Interstate 15 near mile post 220, just south of Nephi, for speeding and obscured license plate, said a probable cause statement issued Wednesday by the 4th District Court of Juab County.

The vehicle was traveling at 85 miles per hour in heavy fog and the rear license plate was not visible, the statement said.

While speaking with the driver and passenger, the arresting officer noticed there were rolling papers in the glove box.

“I then asked the driver and passenger if there was anything else inside of the vehicle I should be aware of,” the statement said. “Both individuals stated no. I then called for the Utah Highway Patrol K-9 handler to perform an open air sniff of the vehicle. The K-9 handler notified me that his K-9 alerted to the odor of narcotics coming from the vehicle. While the K-9 handler was performing the sniff the driver rolled down his window and notified him there was marijuana inside of the vehicle and they did not have medical marijuana cards.”

The officer told the couple he would be searching the vehicle but gave them the option to follow him and another officer to the Juab County Jail where they could be out of the weather due to there being a baby in the vehicle.

“I informed the driver he would follow me while the other trooper would be following behind,” the statement said. “I explained to them we would do it this way due to the heavy fog and freezing cold weather. I then walked back to my patrol vehicle and the black Jeep then took off.”

The vehicle went up to speeds over 115 miles per hour, the statement said. The pursuit was initiated near mile marker 221 northbound then went northbound through Juab County where the vehicle was finally spiked around mile marker 238.

“During the spiking of the vehicle multiple law enforcement vehicles were disabled and the vehicle got ahead of us where it came to a stop,” the statement said. “The driver exited the vehicle and took off on foot across I-15 and headed westbound through backyards and across a large field. The driver was finally located on the outside city limits of Rocky Ridge in a backyard of a house.”

The driver and passenger along with the vehicle where transported to the Juab County Jail where the vehicle was searched and a large amount of methamphetamine, several grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia was located inside of the vehicle. After urine tests both adults tested positive for controlled substance. The female passenger was placed under arrest for active arrest warrants. The 8-month-old child was taken into DCFS custody. The two individuals were then booked into the Juab County Jail, where they are being held without bail.

The male suspect was identified as Artermio Rivera Luna, 34, the statement said.

Luna is facing charges of:

  • Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a second-degree felony
  • Failure to respond to officer’s signal to stop, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, schedule I/II/analog, a class A misdemeanor
  • Reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
  • Possession of a controlled substance, marijuana/spice, a class B misdemeanor
  • Speeding, an infraction
  • No valid license, an infraction
  • Failure to display license plate, an infraction

The woman in the vehicle, Alexandrea Mykall Lovato, 31, is facing charges of:

  • Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a second-degree felony
  • Failure to respond to officer’s signal to stop, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, schedule I/II/analog, a class A misdemeanor
  • Reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
  • Possession of a controlled substance, marijuana/spice, a class B misdemeanor

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