SUV pulled over for speeding, UHP finds $2M worth of drugs inside

Nov 16, 2022, 7:33 PM | Updated: Nov 18, 2022, 5:06 pm

GREEN RIVER — A traffic stop in Emery County on Monday resulted in a $2 million drug bust.

It was one of two major drug busts conducted by the Utah Highway Patrol in less than 24 hours on Interstate 70 in nearly the same area.

About 7 a.m., an SUV was pulled over on I-70 for going 75 mph in a canyon area where the speed limit drops to 60 mph, according to the Utah Highway Patrol. During the stop, the trooper who pulled over the SUV “became suspicious of criminal activity” and called for backup from a UHP trooper who had a drug-sniffing police K-9, a police booking affidavit states.

After the dog indicated the possible presence of drugs, troopers conducted a search of the vehicle. They found about 70 pounds of methamphetamine, 33 pounds of fentanyl pills, 3 pounds of heroin, and more than 2 pounds of cocaine, according to the affidavit.

The drugs have “a street value of over $2 million,” the UHP noted in its affidavit.

Arturo Alfredo Laurean, 56, was arrested for investigation of four counts of drug distribution. Bricia Noema Vargas Ceballos, 45, was arrested for investigation of four counts of drug possession with intent to distribute.

In a separate incident, in essentially the same area about 16 hours later, a pickup truck was pulled over after going 80 mph in a 60 mph zone, according to a separate booking affidavit. Once again, a police K-9 was brought to the scene and conducted an open-air sniff around the vehicle, and again indicated the presence of drugs, the affidavit states.

Inside the bed of the truck, troopers found eight duffle bags containing approximately 313 pounds of marijuana packaged in vacuum-sealed bags, according to the affidavit.

Jordan Evan Buenrostro, 32, of California, was arrested for investigation of speeding and possessing 100 pounds of marijuana or more.

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SUV pulled over for speeding, UHP finds $2M worth of drugs inside