ST. GEORGE – Two men were arrested at 3:46 a.m., Tuesday, on Utah Highway Patrol’s discovery of drugs in the vehicle after the driver was pulled over for making an unsafe lane change.
The driver, Bryce Timothy-William Bird, 22, and his passenger, Francisco Javier Nuño, 23, were traveling northbound on Interstate 15 at Exit 8 this morning when they were pulled over for a signaling violation.
On initial contact, the trooper smelled the odor of raw marijuana coming from the passenger compartment, UHP spokesman Cpl. Todd Johnson said.
“The driver stated he had used a few hours prior to driving,” Johnson said, and “that he was heading back east for a job.”
On search of the vehicle, the trooper found marijuana in the trunk of the car. In all, 3 pounds of marijuana, as well as unspecified amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine, were seized.
Both men were arrested on charges of distribution, a second-degree felony; on possession of drugs, Bird on a second-degree felony, Nuño on a third-degree felony; and possession of paraphernalia, a class-B misdemeanor. Bird was also charged with unsafe lane travel, a class-C misdemeanor. Total bail required is listed at $20,490 for Bird and $15,400 for Nuño.
The quantity of the the marijuana seized gave rise to the distribution charges, Johnson said. When quantities are in ounces it is considered for personal use, he said, but larger quantities are deemed held for distribution. Johnson also said that citations for failure to signal or improper use of a car’s signal are common traffic stops that UHP consistently makes. Given the number of crashes that occur, he said, it is a safe driving concern.
UHP impounded the vehicle, a Chevy Impala, which was a rental car.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office booking information lists Bakersfield, Calif., as both men’s address of record.
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