Grand County deputy seizes 23 pounds of meth

Man in custody following Sunday stop

This meth was seized after a recent traffic stop by a Grand County Sheriff’s Office deputy on I-70 Sunday. Photo courtesy of Grand County Sheriff

One person is under arrest after the Grand County Sheriff’s Office seized approximately 23 pounds of methamphetamine from a driver who was initially pulled over for speeding.

A deputy with the Grand County Sheriff’s Department, who was sitting in the median on Highway 70 about 5 miles east of Thompson Springs on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 22, clocked a vehicle driven by Miguel Angel Ordonez Mendoza traveling 84 mph in a 75-mph zone.

The officer said in court documents that the driver had a “nervous body posture and his hand position at 10 and 2.” The driver also “would not look over” at the police car as he was driving, so the officer “became suspicious and began to pursue the car.”

The deputy said that, when he approached Mendoza while he was sitting in his car, the man was taking “shallow rapid breaths” and that he “could see his heart beating through his shirt.” The deputy also smelled marijuana and noticed that the car, which was a rental, smelled strongly of air fresheners. He soon called for backup and searched the car, finding the meth in a box in the trunk of the car.

Lt. Kim Neal of the sheriff’s office said that the deputy had recently received training in “the detection of illegal contraband” and “was able to utilize that training during this traffic stop.” A subsequent search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery and seizure of approximately 23 pounds of methamphetamine.

Mendoza, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, was arrested on charges of speeding, possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and one charge of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.