BONNEVILLE COUNTY, ID (The Post-Register) – *UPDATE:* The Idaho State Police have issued the following news release regarding an Oct. 14 arrest for marijuana trafficking:
“On October 14th, 2018, ISP arrested “Javier Luna-Gutierrez” for trafficking 117 lbs. of marijuana. During the traffic stop he had identified himself with a fictitious California driver’s license. The Department of Homeland Security Task Force ran name of “Javier Luna-Gutierrez” through their federal database and discovered his true identity was Armando Sarmiento-Sarmiento. They were able to confirm his identity through a fingerprint check. The Idaho State Police followed-up on this new information and discovered that Sarmiento-Sarmiento had a United States Marshals federal warrant out of Utah.
The warrant was for the following charges:
Count 1 – Possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute
Count 2 – Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute
Count 3 – Possession of a firearm and ammunition by an illegal alien
Count 4 – Carrying a firearm during and in relation to drug trafficking crime
Count 5 – Re-entry of a previously removed Alien
In addition to being charged with trafficking 117 lbs. of marijuana, Sarmiento-Sarmiento was additionally charged by ISP for providing false information to an officer, driving without privileges, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Sarmiento-Sarmiento is currently being held in the Bonneville County Jail.”
Original article is below:
A California couple were arrested Sunday after an Idaho State Police found 117 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle during a traffic stop.
Javier Luna-Gutierrez, 24, and Aida Rodriguez-Hernandez, 19, were pulled over while speeding on U.S. Highway 20 near Idaho Falls.
A probable-cause affidavit states the two were nervous as soon as the trooper began talking to them. The trooper wrote that Luna-Gutierrez’s hand was shaking when he handed his driver’s license to the trooper. The trooper wrote he could smell marijuana, but that the odor was too faint to warrant a search.
The trooper became suspicious when the couple contradicted themselves, first saying they were returning from a week-and-a-half vacation in Idaho. Rodriguez-Hernandez then said she had not been with Luna-Gutierrez during the trip to California from Minnesota. Luna-Gutierrez said they had made the trip together. The trooper wrote in the affidavit it seemed as if Rodriguez-Hernandez was trying to separate herself from the contents of the car, telling the trooper she only owned two bags.
The probable-cause affidavit states their car had been seen driving south on Interstate 15 four days earlier. The trooper describes Luna-Gutierrez as having bloodshot eyes. When asked if he had recently used drugs or alcohol, Luna-Gutierrez said there was nothing illegal in the car.
Luna-Gutierrez told the trooper the boxes in the car were clothes. Rodriguez-Hernandez consented to having her bags searched. The trooper found marijuana separated into bags by the pound. The trooper searched the rest of the vehicle and found 117 bags of marijuana, each weighing a pound. The trooper also found a small amount of methamphetamine.
Luna Gutierrez told the trooper he was transporting the drugs for money. He had been paid $40,000 for previously moving 70 pounds of marijuana, and had already been paid $5,000 for this shipment. He said Rodriguez-Hernandez knew he was transporting drugs, but didn’t know the details.
Luna-Gutierrez was charged with trafficking 25 pounds or more of marijuana, punishable with a minimum of five years in prison and up to 15 years, and for possession of methamphetamine, punishable with up to seven years in prison. Rodriguez-Hernandez was arrested for drug trafficking, but there was no case in the ICourt system indicating she had been charged.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has filed an immigration detainer on the couple. Both said they were not U.S. citizens.