3 arrested when Iron County deputy recovers $50K of meth during traffic stop on I-15

Iron County Sheriff's K-9 Bolos assists the Utah Highway Patrol in recovering more than two pounds of heroin during a traffic stop on Interstate 15 , Iron County, Utah, Jan. 25, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff's Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — Three suspects are being held without bail after deputies found a pound of methamphetamine during a search of their vehicle, one of two loads of narcotics that were intercepted less than an hour apart Saturday night on Interstate 15 in Iron County.

One pound of methamphetamine in three gallon-sized plastic bags is recovered during a traffic stop on Interstate 15 in Iron County, Utah, Jan. 25, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

The first incident took place at 10:40 p.m. when an Iron County Sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle on northbound I-15 near milepost 62 for a traffic violation. While speaking to the driver, the deputy smelled a strong odor marijuana coming from inside of the car, and when he asked about the smell, the suspects “gave me a bag of it,” the deputy noted in the probable cause statement filed with the court.

All three occupants were asked to exit the car at that point.

During a search of the vehicle, the deputy found three gallon-sized plastic bags containing a large amount of meth, along with a loaded Glock 380 in the center console with the serial number filed off.

One of the suspects told the deputy the trio picked the drugs up in Las Vegas and were on their way to a residence in Utah to drop the drugs off when they were stopped by police. The suspect also said the Glock that was found in the center console was stolen, according to court records.

Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser said the investigation “into the back-end of the operation” continued into Sunday when deputies learned all three suspects were convicted felons and were transporting approximately one pound of methamphetamine. One pound of meth has a street value of more than $54,000, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center.

L-R: Emmet Earl Anderson,38, of Las Vegas; Scott Koy Hancock, 32, of Richfield, and bottom center is Theresa Michelle Bretz, 38, of Boise, Idaho, booking photos taken in Iron County, Utah, Jan. 25, 2020 | Photos courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

The three suspects, Emmet Earl Anderson, 38, of Las Vegas, Nevada; Theresa Michelle Bretz, 38, of Boise, Idaho; and Scott Koy Hancock, 32, of Richfield, Utah, were arrested and transported to the Iron County Jail early Sunday morning. Each faces one first-degree felony count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and two second-degree felonies – theft of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person. They also each face a single third-degree felony count of possession of a controlled substance as well as misdemeanor possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

Additionally, due to the “clear and convincing evidence” that all three suspects would constitute a substantial danger to the community and are likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court if released, the suspects are being held without bail.

Utah Highway Patrol trooper gets a helping hand from K-9 Bolos 

Approximately 40 minutes earlier, Iron County Sheriff’s K-9 Bolos was called in to assist a UHP trooper that stopped a vehicle on I-15 in Iron County. Once deployed, the animal proceeded to sniff around the vehicle and indicated to the presence of narcotics, at which point troopers began a search of the car and discovered 2.5 pounds of heroin concealed in a suitcase located in the trunk of the vehicle.

The drug seizure is part of “Operation Pipeline,” and the street value of the heroin was estimated to be more than $290,000.

Schlosser said the two loads of narcotics that were intercepted Saturday “only represent a small percentage of the drug problem we face across the state and in our communities.”

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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