Men stopped for tinted tail lights busted with a thousand fentanyl pills, Cedar City police say

Cedar City Police Car. Photo: CCPD/Twitter

CEDAR CITY, Utah, April 26, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Two men were arrested by Cedar City Police after a traffic stop for tinted tail lights turned into a drug bust.

The suspects are Joshua Leo Marlow, 20, and Juan Valencia, 28.

“On April 19, 2022, at approximately 2158 hours, I observed a vehicle northbound on I-15 near milepost 59,” according to probable cause statements filed by an officer of the Cedar City Police Department.

“As this vehicle passed, I noticed that the brake lights of the vehicle appeared significantly dimmer than other passing vehicles, indicating to me that the brake lights had been modified from factory standard, and were tinted.

“I caught up to the vehicle to perform a motor vehicle stop and observed that the third brake light was also covered in window tint, and its reflective properties were removed due to the tint.”

The vehicle took longer than needed to stop, the statement says. The officer noticed a backseat passenger, Valencia, whose armed seemed arranged to hide the fact that he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

Marlow, the driver, said he did not have his license with him. Both men gave their correct names, but Valencia gave the wrong birthday, twice, the nearly identical probable cause statements say..

The officer became suspicious, and called for a drug-sniffing police dog.

“When asked if there was anything illegal inside of the vehicle, both occupants denied it,” the statements say. “A probable cause search of the vehicle was performed. In the center console of the vehicle, inside of an air vent, a bag of suspected fentanyl pills were located. The bag weighed approximately .25 pounds, and contained approximately 1,000 pills.”

Both of the occupants are currently on probation for previous offenses, including drug offenses, the statements say. Both occupants have outstanding warrants for their arrest.

The men were arrested. Marlow faces charges of:

  • Possession with intent to distribute C/substance, a second-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substances schedule l/ll/analog, a class A misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
  • Driving on a suspended or revoked license, a class C misdemeanor
  • Brake light/reflectors to display or reflect red color, an infraction

Valencia faces charges of:

  • Possession with intent to distribute C/substance, a second-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substances schedule l/ll/analog, a class A misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
  • Failure to wear seat belt or properly adjust safety belt, an infraction

Marlow and Valencia were ordered held without bail.

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