WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 29, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Two people are being held in the Washington County jail after officers conducting a traffic stop located more than 11 pounds of fentanyl pills.
Veronica Marquez-Franco, 47, and Jesus Navarro-Perez, 21, are each being held on charges of possession with intent to distribute a class C substance, a second-degree felony, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.
The Colorado residents were driving on Interstate 15 in a Jeep Cherokee on Jan. 10 when a Washington County sheriff’s deputy saw them make a lane change violation, according to their probable cause statements.
“During the course of the traffic stop, (the deputy) deployed his K-9,” their nearly identical statements says. “His K-9 alerted to the odor of narcotics within the vehicle. A probable cause search was conducted on the vehicle.
The deputy “located a large quantity of suspected fentanyl pills during the search of the vehicle. The pills were identified as blue and round pills labeled M on one side and 30 on the reverse side. Based on my training and experience, I know these pills to be counterfeit pills containing pure fentanyl.”
Both suspects admitted they knew the drugs were in the vehicle, their affidavits say.
“The suspected fentanyl pills were later weighed. The total weight was 11.17 pounds (5066.6268 grams) including the packaging weight.”
One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, so the five kilograms found could kill 2.5 million people.
The filing officer requested the suspects held without bail because both had ties to Denver and their native Mexico, and they could be flight risks. A judge agreed to the requests.