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Price man receives $100K of ecstasy stuffed in teddy bear, police say

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Posted at 11:54 AM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-13 13:54:33-04

OREM, Utah — Police in Utah County arrested a man accused of picking up a package containing up to $100,000 worth of MDMA.

According to a statement of probable cause, federal agents notified a member of the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force that a package on its way to the Orem post office had been intercepted.

Officials with the Customs and Border Patrol agency found 543 grams of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, hidden inside a black and white teddy bear shipped from Germany, the statement said.

The package was then sealed back up and sent to the post office, where detectives waited for it to be picked up.

“Manteo Gildardo Soto was later positively identified as the male who was attempting to retrieve the package. After signing for the package, it was released to Soto’s custody. I observed him exiting the post office with the DHL package containing the illegal controlled substance,” an investigator with Utah County Major Crimes Task Force wrote.

Soto and the passenger in his red BMW then drove several miles to an apartment complex as detectives followed, the statement said.

“The male passenger in the vehicle then exited the vehicle with the yellow DHL package containing the MDMA and began running northbound through the parking lot. He jumped several fences and then abandoned the DHL box which was recovered by detectives,” the UCMC investigator wrote. “I followed Soto who began driving to another part of the parking lot. He parked his car and I took him into custody at that time.”

According to the probable cause statement, Soto, 29, claimed to have no knowledge of the package’s contents and that he picked it up for a friend, whom he refused to identify.

Soto faces a felony charge of distributing, offering or arranging the distribution of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor charge of use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

Soto’s bail amount was set at $20,000.