80K fentanyl pills seized in Utah drug bust

Feb 11, 2023, 12:27 PM | Updated: 12:28 pm

A pair of drug busts in Summit and Wasatch counties on Thursday resulted in the seizure of meth, he...

A pair of drug busts in Summit and Wasatch counties on Thursday resulted in the seizure of meth, heroin, marijuana and approximately 19 pounds of fentanyl pills. (StanislauV, Shutterstock)

(StanislauV, Shutterstock)

COALVILLE, Utah — A pair of drug busts in Summit and Wasatch counties on Thursday led to the discovery of meth, heroin, marijuana and tens of thousands of fentanyl pills.

In Summit County, about 12:20 p.m., a car was pulled over on I-80 near Coalville because the tint on the windows was too dark, according to a police booking affidavit.

“I could not see the driver of the vehicle as it passed my location,” the arresting trooper wrote in the affidavit.

A Utah Highway Patrol trooper could smell burnt marijuana when he approached the vehicle and the driver rolled down the window. When the trooper told the driver that he would be searching her car, “The driver refused to exit the vehicle and began texting on her phone. She was removed from the vehicle with minimal force,” the affidavit states.

During a search of the car, 19 pounds of fentanyl pills — approximately 80,000 pills — and 3 pounds of heroin were found, according to the affidavit. Drug paraphernalia, a loaded gun, about $3,000 cash, and a small amount of marijuana were also found, the affidavit states.

Ruth Mery Argueta, 31, was booked into the Summit County Jail for investigation of two counts of drug possession with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, obstructing justice, marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and a window tint violation.

The affidavit states the U.S. attorney for Utah will screen the case for potential federal charges.

Also on Thursday, in a separate case, a Heber City police officer pulled over a vehicle for a headlight violation. The driver provided the officer with a Mexican ID card but did not have a Utah driver’s license, according to a police booking affidavit. The driver was asked to perform field sobriety tests.

The driver passed the test. But while doing so, the officer “noticed that he had a hat on that said Joaquin Guzman and the number 701, with a Colombian flag, Mexico flag and the American flag. I recognized the name Joaquin Guzman because he is El Chapo the Mexican drug lord and the 701 is the number ranking that El Chapo held as the 701st Forbes richest person in the world,” the affidavit states.

The officer asked for the driver’s permission to search his vehicle. After getting consent, police searched the car and found small amounts of meth and marijuana, the affidavit states. Jaime Antonio Castro Miranda, 24, was arrested and taken to the Wasatch County Jail. Before being formally booked into jail, Miranda was asked if he had any more drugs on him, to which he claimed he did not, according to the affidavit.

At the jail, however, a baggie of meth was found in his sock as he was being checked into the facility, the affidavit states. Later, two additional baggies were found by jail personnel while searching Miranda.

He was arrested for investigation of drug possession with intent to distribute, taking drugs into a correctional facility, drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, marijuana possession and not having a driver’s license.

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80K fentanyl pills seized in Utah drug bust