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Cedar City traffic stop turns into $300,000 drug bust

Fentanyl Opioids
Posted at 1:13 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 15:13:44-04

CEDAR CITY, Utah — A routine traffic stop turned into a drug bust when more than $300,000 worth of fentanyl pills were found in a speeding vehicle, according to a report from the St. George News.

According to court records, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper was monitoring traffic on I-15 North of Cedar City when he noticed a car traveling at high speed, though the driver slammed on his brakes when he spotted the trooper.

The driver, 37-year-old Roberto Carlos Mendez-Coleote, allegedly said he did not have a driver’s license or any proof of insurance, and that he had recently purchased the car.

While speaking with Mendez-Coleote, the trooper noticed his nose was bleeding, which Mendez-Coleote said was due to his ingesting crystal methamphetamine, though he said it happened the night before.

Other inconsistent statements and the presence of a white powder on Mendez-Coleote's nostrils led to a DUI arrest and search of the vehicle.

A backpack found in the trunk contained vacuum-sealed double-walled packages of unmarked pills that were “presumed to be fentanyl pills, with an extremely high street value,” the trooper noted.

Mendez-Coleote was arrested and transported to Iron County Jail on second-degree felony possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, in addition to several misdemeanor drug and paraphernalia charges.