OREM — A routine traffic stop resulted in the discovery of 30 pounds of methamphetamine and a California man being arrested by Orem police Thursday.
Orem police said the large amount of drugs seized has an estimated street value of $1.5 million.
Jose Luis Michel, 27, of National City, California, was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of drug distribution and drug possession.
Thursday afternoon, a Jeep was pulled over for failing to signal while switching lanes on I-15 and "failing to operate within a single lane," according to a police affidavit filed in 4th District Court.
"Jose advised he and his family have been driving since 11 a.m. this morning from California to Utah and he was very tired, which accounts for the traffic offenses," the affidavit states.
When the officer inquired about Michel's final destination, he said he was going to his mother's house, but then gave an address in West Valley City for "a strip mall for shopping and not for housing," according to the report.
"I inquired as to why his mother lives at a strip mall," the officer wrote. "It was determined something wasn't adding up with the address provided and intent for being here in Utah."
A police K-9 was brought to the scene to search the vehicle.8 comments on this story
"In the course of searching the back of the vehicle, a brand new large speaker stuck out as an odd item for the vacation the family was on and the circumstances surrounding their visit to Utah. The speaker was new, barely fit inside the vehicle and was not connected to the radio system," according to the affidavit. "I removed one of the speakers and located three large bags of a white crystal substance."
At that point, Michel said his family knew nothing of the drugs.
"Jose advised openly he saw an opportunity and went for it. Jose advised there was approximately 30 pounds of methamphetamine in the the speaker box," the affidavit states.