The Sevier County Sheriff's Office has seized $280,000 in cash, believed to have been obtained from the illegal sales of drugs, along with four kilos of what officers believe is cocaine.
The money and drugs were discovered in a westbound vehicle when it was stopped by Deputy Phil Barney on I-70 in mid-February near the Vermillion Interchange, about 10 miles north of Richfield. He reported the vehicle was weaving on the highway.Francisco Arreola of Ontario, Calif., was arrested on suspicion of transporting illegal drugs and carrying money associated with drug dealings. Officers reported that the drugs, money, a gun and the vehicle are being held pending further court action.
The money was in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. It was found in a hidden compartment in a rear door of the vehicle separate from the compartment containing the cocaine.
The vehicle was registered to Arreola, who told Barney he was returning from Chicago. He denied knowing of the drugs or money, claiming he had loaned his car to another person and was then given $1,000 to drive it back to California.
Barney said drug trafficking along I-70 appears to be increasing, apparently because of tighter security at airports. There have been five arrests for major drug trafficking on the freeway in Sevier County during the past four months.