ST. GEORGE — A routine traffic stop on Interstate 15 led to the arrest of a 37-year-old man on drug distribution charges Sunday after a Washington County narcotics K-9 helped intercept 2 pounds of marijuana.
Just after 1 p.m., a trooper observed a vehicle making lane changes along I-15 without properly signaling, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Utah Highway Patrol in support of the arrest. The trooper stopped the driver of the vehicle at approximately milepost 22 near Leeds.
The trooper became suspicious of possible criminal activity as he talked with the driver, identified as Oscar Domingo Bautista of Los Angeles, California, the arresting officer wrote in the sworn statement.
A narcotics K-9 was dispatched to the scene and alerted to the presence of drugs in the car, the report states.
“The driver admitted to possessing ‘wax’ after I informed him that we would be searching the car,” the trooper stated.
A probable cause search was conducted resulting in the discovery of 2 pounds of marijuana and 7.5 ounces of marijuana wax in the trunk of the vehicle, according to the statement.
“I located several containers that did have marijuana in them that were now empty in the passenger compartment of the vehicle,” the officer stated.
Bautista was arrested and transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court accusing Bautista of second-degree felony drug possession with the intent to distribute; third-degree felony drug possession with the intent to distribute; and class B misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
Bautista was subsequently released from police custody on $10,000 bail pending trial. He is scheduled to appear before 5th District Judge Eric A. Ludlow Monday for his next court hearing.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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