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Couple leads UHP on chase in Juab County with 8-month-old child in SUV

Posted at 10:25 AM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 15:18:21-05

JUAB COUNTY, Utah — A couple led UHP troopers on a chase Tuesday with an 8-month-old child inside their SUV.

Just after 6 p.m near Nephi, a troopers stopped a Jeep Commander traveling northbound on Interstate 15 with an obstructed license plate and traveling at 85 miles per hour.

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The driver of the SUV, Artemio Rivera Luna, 34, had a Mexican drivers license but did not have a passport. A records check showed the female passenger, Alexandra Mykall Lovato, 31, had multiple state warrants for her arrest.

According to the arrest report, the trooper noticed drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. A Utah Highway Patrol K-9 performed an open air "sniff" of the SUV which detected narcotics.

The trooper told the couple that the SUV would need to be searched and that they should follow authorities to the Juab County Jail so that they could get the child "out of the weather."

As the SUV and troopers were headed to the jail, the couple sped off at speeds over 115 miles per hour with the 8-month-old still in the vehicle. Troopers were able to end the pursuit by spiking the SUV near mile marker 238.

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Luna then fled on foot across the highway and ran into a large field where he was later apprehended in the backyard of a Rocky Ridge home.

Troopers found a large amount of methamphetamine inside the SUV and the couple both tested positive for a controlled substance.

The child was taken into DCFS custody while the Luna and Lovato were arrested on multiple charges, including possession with the intent to distribute drugs, reckless endangerment and use of drug paraphernalia.