Close-up image of an Iron County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle, Cedar City, Utah, May 14, 2022 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News/Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Three suspected drug dealers were recently arrested in Iron County following two similar but unrelated traffic stops made within a few hours of each other.

The first incident reportedly occurred at approximately 1 p.m. on January 9 when an Iron County Sheriff’s deputy pulled over a driver for failing to signal. The traffic stop took place just north of Cedar City on northbound Interstate 15 near exit 63.

The driver of the vehicle, identified as Joseph Brent Vigil, 39, was “visibly shaking” during the traffic stop, the arresting officer wrote in the probable cause affidavit filed to support Vigil’s arrest.

“During the course of the stop, I observed a red straw in the center console that appeared to have a burnt end, a butane torch, odor eliminator, and several used hypodermic needles,” the officer wrote. “When asked about the insurance on the vehicle, (he) said he needed to call the guy who sent it.”

A subsequent search of the vehicle for probable cause reportedly turned up three plastic bags containing approximately 3 to 5 pounds of a white crystalline substance consistent with methamphetamine, along with other drugs and paraphernalia.

Vigil reportedly told officers that he was on his way to deliver the drugs to a dealer in Richfield. According to the affidavit, Vigil allegedly had just dropped off a large quantity of methamphetamine in Cedar City for distribution.

Vigil was taken into custody and later booked into the Iron County Jail on suspicion of multiple charges, including two counts of felony drug possession, misdemeanor charges of DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving without insurance and failure to signal, an infraction.

The second arrest occurred shortly after 4 pm on the evening of January 9, when the Iron County Deputy Sheriff pulled over a vehicle for speeding at 114 mph on northbound I-15 a few miles south of Cedar City, near milepost 54.

The vehicle, a black Mercedes with temporary Nevada license plates, was driven by a woman identified as 51-year-old Ida Marie Dotson. Neither she nor her passenger, identified as Andrew Thomas Morris, 32, had a valid driver’s license, according to affidavits filed. in support of their arrests.

2021 file photo for illustrative purposes only of the Iron County Jail, Cedar City, Utah, November 24, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News/Cedar City News

A subsequent search of the vehicle and its occupants reportedly yielded seven clear plastic baggies containing a total of 104 grams of a white crystalline substance consistent with methamphetamine, plus one baggie containing 8 grams of black tar heroin, a glass, a pipe, scales and other paraphernalia.

Both Dotson and Morris were later booked into the Iron County Jail on suspicion of multiple drug charges. Dotson also faces misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Although Dotson remained in jail until Wednesday, Morris has since been released on $1,000 unsecured bond. Both are scheduled to make their next scheduled court appearances on January 24 before 5th District Judge Ann Marie McIff Allen.

In the other unrelated case, Vigil made his initial court appearance on January 11 and was released from jail the following week after promising to comply with certain court-imposed conditions, including GPS monitoring. His next scheduled appearance is a resignation hearing on February 7 before Fifth District Judge Matthew L. Bell.

This report is based on statements from court documents and law enforcement officials and may not contain the full scope of the findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty by a court of law or otherwise decided by a judge of fact.

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