DRUG BUST Juab
County Deputy Andrew Davidson, his dog Nick and
Trooper John Sheets show the $300,000 of Marijuana
found in a vehicle stopped on I-15
By Myrna Trauntvein
Law enforcement officers located more than $300,000
worth of marijuana following a routine traffic stop.
Three individuals were arrested--a juvenile, and two
adults, one male and one female.
"The juvenile was transported to Slate Canyon
Detention facility," said Hoby Metz, UHP Sgt. "It is unclear
if and when the juvenile will be extradited to her domicile
Metz said the name of the adult male was Juan Cardenas
Chavez, 23 years old, who has residence in Arizona and
"The name of the adult female was Dulce Escalera,
age19," Metz said. Escalara resides in Arizona.
The case was filed with the State of Utah in the
Fourth District Court in Juab County, Metz said.
Utah Highway Patrol Trooper John Sheets was working
Interstate-15 near Nephi Tuesday morning when he stopped a
vehicle on a routine traffic stop.
Following the stop, Sheets suspected there might be a
controlled substance inside the vehicle.
"He called Deputy Andrew Davidson and his police
canine, Nick, to the scene to help with the investigation,"
said Alden Orme, Juab County Sheriff.
Nick indicated that there was a controlled substance
in the vehicle so Sheets and Davidson searched the
That search uncovered 100 pounds of marijuana wrapped
in one-pound bundles.
Orme said that marijuana is currently selling on the
street for approximately $20 for one-eighth ounce,
"They probably bought the drug for $1,000 a pound but
the street value for the 100-pounds would add up to
approximately $300,000," said Orme.
The two adults in the vehicle will face first degree
felony drug trafficking charges. The charge is bumped up to
a first degree felony because a juvenile was involved.
The juvenile female will be charged in juvenile
"The high grade marijuana load was from Arizona and
was being driven north, probably to Salt Lake City," said
Orme said he wanted to publicly acknowledge the great
work done by Trooper Sheets who, he said, is an outstanding
trooper working in the area and who has gained a reputation
for good police work.
"We are also proud of Deputy Davidson and his police
canine, Nick, who has been a great addition to the drug
interdiction team," said Orme.
Orme said he takes a great deal of time and effort to
train and work with a canine and Davidson had been willing
to do the necessary work.
Utah's "Schedules of controlled substances" classifies
marijuana as a "hallucinogenic substance."
Possession with intent to sell marijuana is punishable
by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine and is a
third-degree felony. In a drug-free zone, those penalties
can be enhanced to a second-degree felony. Involving a
juvenile allows the penalty to be enhanced to a first degree
Federal trafficking of marijuana penalties are more
severe and could apply because the three individuals
transported across state lines.
Federal trafficking penalties for less than 50
kilograms are a maximum of 5 years and $250,000. One Hundred
pounds equals 45.4 kilograms.