An Iron County trooper finds 15 pounds. of cocaine hidden in sealed dog food containers

Utah Highway Patrol vehicles. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

IRON COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 22, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — An Iron County traffic stop performed on a woman who was driving recklessly turned into a drug bust that reportedly yielded 15 pounds of cocaine.

The stop was made by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper assigned to Cedar City, according to the probable cause statement. At 12:35 p.m. on January 16, the soldier said he saw the vehicle, heading north on Interstate 15, after a tractor-trailer from a dangerous distance.

After the SUV allegedly made a sudden lane change, the soldier then activated his lights and siren and made a traffic stop on the northbound Interstate 71 off-ramp, the statement said.

The officer found the suspect Janely Lopez driving the rental car, rented by a third party.

‘During my traffic check I became suspicious of other criminal activity so I deployed my police dog Leo for a free aerial sniffing of the vehicle,’ the officer’s statement read. “Leo gave a positive indication of the smell of narcotics coming from inside the vehicle. The driver admitted that she had THC vaporizers inside the vehicle and that she did not have a marijuana card valid medical.

“During a search, I found a box in the trunk containing a sealed container of dog food. After the seal was broken, I found seven packets of narcotics hidden inside the container. been arrested and transported to the Iron County Jail,” the statement read.

“One of the packages was opened and the white powdery substance tested positive for cocaine. The total weight of the packages was 7 kilograms or approximately 15 pounds of the substance.

Lopez faces charges of possession with intent to distribute a C/substances, a second-degree felony; possession of marijuana/spice controlled substances, a class B misdemeanor; and following a vehicle too closely and changing lanes improperly in an occupied lane, both offences.

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