Deputy allegedly recovers 2 pounds of meth after stopping wrong-way driver in Washington City

Stock image taken April 21, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A wrong-way driver was arrested Sunday for felony drug distribution near the off-ramp of Interstate 15 in Washington City after police recovered a large amount of suspected methamphetamine hidden in jars disguised as containing a common food product.

Shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday morning, a Washington County Sherriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle heading south on the northbound off-ramp of I-15 at the Green Springs Road Exit.

While speaking with the driver about her heading the wrong way on the interstate, the officer “observed her behavior to be erratic and all over the place,” he said in the probable cause statement filed with the courts.

The deputy also noted the suspect, identified by her driver’s license as 55-year-old Cynthia Ceynar, of Glendive, Montana, was “grinding her lower jaw in a lateral motion.” Her pupils were also unresponsive to the light from his flashlight, which, he wrote, were signs indicative of drug use specific to meth or other stimulants.

While being questioned, the driver appeared nervous and continued to glance several times towards the back of the car where a large duffle bag was located but, according to the report, denied there was anything illegal in the vehicle.

Cynthia Marie Ceynar, 55, of Glendive, Mont., booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Feb. 21, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The report also states the suspect continued to “ramble on about there being no need to search the vehicle,” when the deputy inquired further, at which point he asked her to step out of the car.

Based on a large bulge in her front left pocket, the deputy searched the suspect and found a large torch-style lighter, a glass pipe and a small bag of a white crystalline substance consistent with meth.

The deputy then searched the vehicle and recovered a small glass jar continuing what appeared to be marijuana. In the duffel bag on the rear seat the officer found three large containers that were disguised as a grocery product but when opened, each of the jars contained a large gallon-size plastic bag containing a white substance consistent with meth, and another identical jar with the same substance was located on the front floorboard of the vehicle.

In total, the jars contained more than two pounds of suspected meth.

The suspect told the deputy she had traveled from her home in Montana to Los Angeles, California where she purchased the drugs for $1,200 using funds she had saved from selling drugs. She went on to explain she was returning to Montana when she was stopped on the Green Springs Road Exit, the report states.

The suspect was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked on second-degree felony possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance as well as misdemeanor possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

The deputy also requested that Ceynar either be held without bail or that bail be set at a higher amount based on the fact the suspect has no ties to the local jurisdiction and would likely flee if released. The case, which is also under review for possible federal charges and prosecution, “would be further complicated if (Ceynar) were to flee back to Montana,” the officer wrote in the request.

Bail was set at $10,000 per the bail order that was signed by District Judge John J. Walton later that same day. The suspect was still in custody at the time of this report.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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