WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – A woman has been arrested after police discovered over $700k worth of fentanyl hidden inside a pillow in a traffic drug bust.
According to authorities, an officer was conducting work on I-15 northbound at the Utah-Arizona state line. While being parked in the median, the officer observed a minivan traveling northbound at the state line and estimated the vehicle was traveling approximately 85 mph in a 75 mph zone.
The officer says as the vehicle passed, the driver immediately turned his head away and aggressively applied the brakes which prompted the officer to begin to follow. According to authorities, while the officer followed the vehicle decreased its speed to 65 mph which was now 5 mph slower than the posted speed limit, and was observed crossing the solid yellow line three different times by the officer.
According to authorities, the officer decided to conduct a traffic stop based on improper lane travel and address the violation.
Officials say the officer approached the vehicle and made contact with the male driver and a female passenger who was identified as Liliana Velazquez of California. According to the officer, upon making contact at the passenger window, a strong smell of marijuana was observed and a homemade ashtray was seen in the center console.
Authorities say the officer explained the stop and throughout the conversation, the officer noticed numerous statements which appeared suspicious and abnormal and asked to search the vehicle based on the smell of marijuana.
According to officers, during the search of the vehicle a small purple colored “white label cannabis” bag was observed in the center console with a green leafy substance inside. Officials say while the officer continued to search, a large pillow case was observed in the back seat.
Authorities say the pillow case was heavier than normal and was stuffed with several stiff packages under the actual pillow. Officers say while squeezing the packages they suspected small tablets wrapped in saran wrap.
According to officials, while processing the evidence the approximate weight was around 7.3 pounds with a total of 30,000 pills and an estimated street value of $750,000.
Police say Velazquez confirmed the driver had no idea what was going on and admitted she had picked the drugs in California and was expected to drive to Colorado. She is currently booked in the Washington County Jail.