ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Three suspects have been arrested in St. George after Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) troopers found two kilos of narcotics and hundreds of fentanyl pills in their possession on Sunday.
25-year-old Reinaldo Hernandez Ayala was pulled over by a UHP trooper after making an improper lane change on I-15. His identification was issued out of Mexico.
In the blue sedan he was driving was 22-year-old Sabas Espino Vejar, who had a Washington ID, and 24-year-old Jorge Negrete Ayon Jr.
All three suspects were reportedly from Tulare County, CA, according to the report.
The UHP trooper reportedly smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the car, and “became even more suspicious of further criminal activity.”
Court documents state that the occupants did not know the name of the vehicle owner, and did not have an answer for where they were going besides “just Utah,” or why. Furthermore, none of them had a valid medical marijuana card.
Upon given consent to do so, the trooper searched the car, finding a small bag of marijuana and a grinder underneath the front seat, as well as a jar of marijuana in the glovebox.
Underneath the backseat, however, the trooper found three vacuum-sealed packages: one, filled with a black substance believed to be heroin, another, containing a white powder, and a third with baggies of blue M-30 pills “consistent with prior fentanyl seizures.”
The UHP trooper continued his search, finding multiple 9mm and 45 caliber pistol rounds.
The three subjects were all placed under arrest and taken to the Cedar City UHP office.
The report states that Vejar, the passenger with the Washington ID, also had multiple Mexican and U.S. employment authorization cards, as well as multiple weapons charges on his criminal history including possession in public, concealed weapons, and discharging a firearm.
He also had “two separate felony charges from 2021 for kidnapping and inflicting corporal punishment in California.”
Upon further investigation, the driver of the car “was determined to be a member of the Mexican cartel” with a “violent criminal history.”