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Meth bust on I-70 nets 6½ pounds
First Published Jun 05 2012 08:47 pm • Last Updated Jun 06 2012 04:48 pm

The first sign was something was amiss: The Honda passenger car quickly began to exit Interstate 70 after spotting the Utah Highway Patrol vehicle.

According to a complaint filed in federal court Monday, a trooper who pulled the vehicle over Saturday in Sevier County noticed sign number two: The driver’s pants had outlines of marijuana leaves on them and a passenger was wearing a "Santa Muerte" — Saint Death, venerated by some drug traffickers — necklace.

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There also was a pendant of Jesus Malverde — considered a folk saint by some Sinaloa, Mexico, drug traffickers — on the key chain dangling from the ignition, according to the complaint.

Occupants told law officers they were traveling from California to Colorado, where they planned to pay traffic fines and visit family, the complaint states.

When the occupants’ stories didn’t match up, UHP Sgt. Rob Nixon got permission to search the vehicle. Nixon found four packages containing about 6½ pounds of methamphetamine near the front of the rear tire on the driver’s side, according to the complaint. Two male passengers were arrested; one has a previous criminal record involving drugs and the other faces deportation. If convicted, the men face a minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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