Listen: Suspected drug trafficker arrested in Utah after calling 911



(KUTV) – It wasn’t likely that Gilberto Valadez-Canchola wanted a police officer to be anywhere near him, considering he’s now accused of having more than 35 pounds of meth in his truck.

But he called 911 Sunday morning because he feared he was being followed by seven or more cars as he drove through Box Elder County.

A Garland Police Officer responded to the Texaco station off Interstate 15 and found Valadez-Canchola acting strange.

“We didn’t find anybody who was following him and felt like there was more to the story than there was,” Garland Police Chief Chad Soffe said.

There was a lot more to the story, apparently, and the Garland officer called for a drug dog to respond and search Valdez-Canchola’s car.

Inside, the dog alerted for drugs and during a search the officers found a small bag of marijuana, Chief Soffe said.

Still not convinced he had the whole story, the Garland officer found more than a dozen food containers and received Valadez-Canchola’s permission to open one.

The officer found meth inside, a lot of it, according to Garland Police who said they hauled away 36 pound of meth.

“To think about the bad guy calling us when he has that much illegal drugs in his car is something that doesn’t happen all the time,” Soffe said.

Valadez-Canchola was questioned by police, but investigators said his documents were forged. Police now believe he is a Mexican national who was transporting the drugs through the state.

Chief Soffe said the marijuana may have been a decoy to try and fool police if he was stopped.

“To us it seemed like he was just carrying that to throw us off, maybe get a marijuana ticket and then be on his way,” Soffe said.

Soffe said investigators are looking into a connection to drug cartel activity, and have alerted authorities in Minot, North Dakota where Valadez-Canchola said he was headed.

Authorities said the stop in Box Elder County may have been a stroke of dumb luck for Valadez-Canchola.

“Our officer did a fantastic job digging until he found what was actually taking place and got the true story and got the drugs off the street,” Soffe said.

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