Officers find more than 80 pounds of meth during Washington County traffic stop

Tyler Bowers (left) and Felicia Buckley (right). Photos Courtesy: Purgatory Correctional Facility

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah, March 3, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Officers found more than 80 pounds of methamphetamine during a traffic stop in Washington County.

A probable cause statement from the 5th District Court of St. George said Tyler Roland Bowers, 39, and Felicia Buckley, 38, are both facing charges of:

  • Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a second-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, marijuana/spice, a class B misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

Bowers also faces an additional count of distribution for allegedly having 24 grams of heroin in his backpack. Buckley faces an additional charge of open container of alcohol, a class C misdemeanor.

On Saturday at approximately 11:18 p.m., the arresting officer from Washington County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on I-15 northbound at mile marker 7 in St. George for an expired registration. Buckley told the officer it was a rental car and showed him the rental agreement on her phone, the statement said.

The two told the officer they had been in California and were driving back to their home in Denver, Colorado. The officer asked Bowers for his driver license.

“Tyler could not provide a driver’s license and he held up a large cocktail-style drink and informed me that Felicia had been drinking in Las Vegas so he was driving because she was intoxicated,” the statement said. “The cocktail still had liquid in the container. I informed them that it was against the law to have an open container of alcohol in their vehicle.”

A deputy arrived at the traffic stop and as he approached the driver’s door, he immediately smelled an odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle, the statement said. He could see a plastic bag underneath a lighter in the car door near the handle, and what appeared to be brown tar-like substance inside the bag.

Bowers and Buckley were asked to exit the vehicle so it could be searched.

“In the center console I located what appeared to be smoked marijuana joints in an ashtray that was in the cup holder,” the arresting officer wrote. “As I looked around the vehicle I could see small green flakes on the floorboards that were also consistent with marijuana. I searched the glove box and located a grinder which is designed to grind marijuana before use.”

The officer also located a plastic bag with a small amount of a substance consistent with marijuana in it inside the glove box.

“I opened the back passenger door to search the backseat area,” the statement said. “I located on the backseat directly behind the driver seat the bottom of a soda can that had a brown tar substance on it.”

A search was conducted of the trunk of the vehicle. There were two cardboard boxes inside the trunk. The smaller cardboard box was opened and three packages were found inside. One of the packages was opened and the officer found a plastic bag containing a white crystalized substance, the statement said. The large box contained 27 packages containing the same substance.

Officers also found a brown tar-like substance in a plastic bag, about the size of a golf ball, along with unused syringes.

Field tests conducted showed positive for THC, heroin, and methamphetamine. The total amount of methamphetamine seized from the trunk weighed 81 pounds including the packaging. The amount of heroin located in Tyler’s backpack weighed 24 grams.

After being read his Miranda rights, Bowers said it was pre-arranged that they meet someone in California and pick up the boxes. He stated he didn’t know what was inside the boxes but he thought it was likely heroin. Buckley stated after being read her Miranda rights she had been drinking in Las Vegas and had smoked marijuana. She stated he didn’t know anything about the methamphetamine that was located in the trunk.

Both were transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility, where they are being held without bail. The crime was committed when both Bowers and Buckley were on probation or parole.


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