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August 6, 2021

More than $680K of suspected meth found during 2 traffic stops in Washington City

Seventeen packages of suspected methamphetamine are seized by officers during a traffic stop in Washington City, Utah, June 19, 2021 (Washington City Police Department via St. George News)

ST. GEORGE — Washington City officers recovered nearly 40 pounds of methamphetamine during two separate traffic stops just days apart, following a large seizure of heroin that was recovered less than two weeks ago.

The first stop took place late Saturday when an officer on Interstate 15 was stopped on the median facing northbound traffic near mile marker 12. Shortly before 11:30 p.m., the officer noticed a black Volkswagen sedan heading north with a taillight that did not appear to be functioning, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.

When the officer pulled out onto the interstate to stop the car, he lost sight of the vehicle that disappeared into dense traffic.

Minutes later, the Jetta with California plates was located at the Maverik station on North Hoodoo Way with the driver who was standing near the rear of the car “looking around,” the officer noted.

The driver allegedly told the officer the fuses associated with the taillights kept blowing, and he was going to fix it. He then told police he didn’t have a driver’s license and handed over his passport, which identified him as 28-year-old Rodrigo Rojas-Ibarra of South Jordan.

The driver sat in the officer’s patrol vehicle while the citation was completed, and during a casual conversation the officer noticed a number of discrepancies in the man’s story, the report states, and Rojas-Ibarra consented to a search of the vehicle while backup arrived to assist.

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