Woman questioned in Utah traffic stop steals deputy’s cruiser, rolls vehicle in 120 mph chase; 20 lbs. coke, meth found in suspect’s car, cops say

Photo Courtesy: Washington County Sheriff's Office

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah, Sept. 23, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Fifteen pounds of meth, 5 pounds of cocaine, $20K in cash, and a stolen handgun, were seized in the aftermath of a traffic stop in southern Utah Wednesday night, but not before the woman driver of the suspect vehicle jumped behind the wheel of a Washington County sheriff deputy’s car and led cops on 120 mph chase on I-15.

“At approximately 7 p.m., a deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling northbound on Interstate 15 near mile post 36,” said a statement from Washington County Sheriff’s Office. “The 2020 Nissan Altima was initially stopped for traffic violations.”

As the deputy approached the vehicle, he said he observed a female driver and male passenger. The driver was later identified as 30-year-old Samantha Desiray Holladay of Salt Lake City. The passenger was identified as 30-year-old Boyd Ozzie Murillo, also of Salt Lake City. The deputy also reported the odor of marijuana coming from inside the car, the WCSO statement said.

“Holladay was asked to come back to the deputy’s vehicle to complete the traffic investigation for the lane travel violations while Murillo remained in the passenger seat of their vehicle,” the statement said. “While gathering information for the traffic citation, the deputy explained to Holladay that sufficient probable cause existed to conduct a vehicle search. Both Holladay and the deputy began to exit the patrol vehicle, however Holladay re-entered the passenger seat and locked the doors,” the statement said. “Holladay then climbed into the driver’s seat, and began to drive northbound on I-15 with emergency lights activated on the stolen police cruiser.”

Additional units from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Utah Highway Patrol responded to the area to pursue the stolen cruiser. Deputies and troopers pursued Holladay for a “relatively short distance” at speeds which at times exceeded 120 mph, the statement said. Near mile post 48, Holladay left the roadway causing the vehicle to crash. After a short foot pursuit, she was taken into custody.

Both Murillo and Holladay were each on a form of supervised probation. A subsequent search of the Altima yielded 5.2 pounds of suspected cocaine, 15.2 pounds of suspected methamphetamine, approximately $20,000 in US currency and a stolen handgun, the WCSO said.

Murillo, who is currently on federal probation, was arrested and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility. A judge has set a no-bail hold. He is facing charges of:

  • 2 charges of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a second-degree felony
  • Weapon possession by a restricted person, a second-degree felony
  • Theft — possession of a stolen firearm, a second-degree felony
  • Evidence tampering, a class A misdemeanor
  • Possession of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

Holladay, who is currently on probation in Utah, was also booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility; she is being held without bail.

She is facing the same charges as Murillo, as well as:

  • Theft of a motor vehicle, a second-degree felony
  • Evading/flee by vehicle, a third-degree felony
  • Evading/failure to stop at officer’s command, a third-degree felony
  • Reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor
  • Follow too close, an infraction
  • Failure to signal for two seconds, an infraction


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