2 women caught with 40 pounds of meth during traffic stop in St. George sentenced to federal prison

Composite image with background photo taken in March, 2020 by Cody Blowers; overlay booking photos of Pebbles Yvette Gomez, 30, and Griselda Muniz, 32, both of Aurora, Colo., taken in Washington County, Utah, Sept. 30, 2019 | File photos courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —Two Colorado women arrested in St. George in 2019 have been sentenced to federal prison after deputies found more than 40 pounds of methamphetamine packed in a spare tire.

Pebbles Yvette Gomez, 29, of Aurora, Colo., booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Sept. 30, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Pebbles Yvette Gomez, 30, who was arrested in September 2019 during a traffic stop on Interstate 15 in St. George, was sentenced in federal court on one felony count of possession of meth with intent to distribute and one count of possession of a firearm for furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to sentencing documents filed by federal prosecutors Monday. Gomez was sentenced to serve 60 months in federal prison and during the hearing Magistrate Judge Paul Kohler ruled that she would be incarcerated at the Phoenix Federal Correctional Institution, which is a minimum security camp for women in Arizona.

At the time of the 2019 arrest, Gomez was traveling with 32-year-old Griselda Muniz and both were indicted in federal court Oct. 30, 2019. Both pleaded guilty to the distribution charge while the firearm charge was dismissed.

Muniz was sentenced to serve 96 months in the Dublin Federal Correctional Facility in Northern California during a hearing held in July of last year.  She then appealed the case the following month, but lost the appeal in January and she will continue serving out her sentence in in California.

The case stems from a traffic stop that took place Sept. 30, 2019, when the two were traveling through Utah from Colorado.

After being pulled over for a signal violation, deputies found inside a spare tire 40 packages about the size of a softball and weighing 1 pound each that contained a white substance that was later field tested and came back as a presumptive positive for methamphetamine.

Griselda Yvette Muniz, of Aurora, Colo., booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Sept. 30, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The deputy became suspicious when during a search of the trunk he found the spare which appeared to be larger than the tires on the vehicle and looked new, with little dirt or dust on it, according to the report.

The deputy’s suspicions grew when he knocked on the tire and heard a “solid solid” sound instead of the hollow “air-filled echo sound,” and when he hit the tire with a rubber mallet he heard a “thud” through a stethoscope, a sound produced when a tire is filled with anything other than air.

Officers also recovered a plastic tubular container labeled as a THC product as well as marijuana and a 9 mm pistol during the search. Both women were then arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility where they were each charged with multiple offenses, including two second-degree felonies, including theft by receiving stolen property and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, along with third-degree felony for possession of a firearm charge. They were also each charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

The women, both from Aurora, Colorado, have remained in custody since their arrest. Once they were indicted in federal court, the state charges in each case were dismissed.

Following sentencing, Gomez was turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Office to be transported to the facility in Arizona.

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

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