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A female runs from the police during a traffic stop and gets arrested for having 5.5 grams of meth


9/8/23


Vernal, Ut.- On 8/31/23, Officer McGaha was monitoring traffic at 1800 East on US-40 when he saw a dark-colored sedan traveling East, and both occupants in the front seat were not wearing their seat belts.

During the traffic stop, Officer McGaha approached the vehicle, where both occupants were still not wearing their seat belts. The passenger lit a fresh cigarette, and the driver was smoking a newly lit cigarette. The Officer asked for both of their identifications. The driver and passenger both didn't have their photo ID's.

Officer McGaha asked for their names and dates of birth. Both are provided by their word of mouth.

The driver was identified as 49-year-old Eugenia Taveapont. The Officer proceeded to the passenger side and obtained the passenger’s name and DOB. The passenger was identified as 35-year-old Maylene Murray Lucero.

During the conversation, the Officer saw a round green container in a white bag. He asked about it, and the passenger moved the bag, and the driver grabbed a green vape pen from the center console. She said. "It's a vape pen, I guess."

Officer McGaha reached in and grabbed the vape pen as the driver was handing it to him. There was a THC label on the vape pen, and the Officer asked if anything else was inside the vehicle. Both said there was not.

Lucero was asked to exit the vehicle and was searched for weapons and contraband. Nothing was found on her person. Lucero stated to the Officer that he wasn’t allowed to search her and it was against the law for a male to do so.

McGaha advised Lucero that she was wrong and that he could and had been trained to search a female. Lucero was told to go back to the front of his patrol truck and stay there. During the contact, Lucero wore a hooded sweatshirt and had her arms crossed at her chest. Taveapont was only wearing a T-shirt. It was a very warm day.

Taveapont was asked to exit the vehicle. She was trying to gather some items, and the Officer told her to leave everything in the vehicle. Taveapont didn't have any contraband on her person.

Officer McGaha went to his patrol truck to perform an MDC check on both occupants to ensure their names were correct. Taveapont asked to sit on the ground, and she sat next to his patrol truck. Lucero was initially at the B pillar of the patrol truck.

McGaha continued the check on the two occupants through dispatch. Dispatch advised Taveapont had a statewide warrant for her arrest.

Officer McGaha exited his truck and saw Taveapont seated on the ground, but Luccero was nowhere to be found. Taveapont claimed she didn’t even see her leave. McGaha advised dispatch that Lucero had fled the area of the traffic stop.

Multiple units arrived to assist in trying to find Lucero. VPD Officer O’Donnal and UHP Trooper went through the area of 3500 South. They didn’t find Lucero.

A probable cause search of the vehicle was done and found in Taveapont's purse a marijuana joint. There was also a smoke buddy to insert a joint and smoke like a cigarette.

A witness and farmer were out irrigating his field and called dispatch to report a female was in his field laying down on the South side of the highway across from where the officers were.

In their tracking down the female in the reported location from the traffic stop, Sgt. Cottam and Sgt. Watkins found a pink pencil bag freshly placed in the field. The bag was on top of the grass and was in a straight line to where Lucero was hiding in the trees, approximately 100 yards from the pink bag. The bag was dry on the top when found in a field soaked in water by the sprinklers.

The witness pointed out the direction of Lucero. The witness stated he was in the field at around 11 a.m. setting up sprinklers to turn them on.


Lucero was hidden in the tree line, and once contacted, she placed her hands in the air and complied with police orders. Once arrested, Lucero continued to say three times, "I got nothing on me," and asked for her lawyer. Throughout the contact and booking contact, she continued to say, "I didn't have nothing."

In the pink bag were 5.5 grams of meth, a glass bulbed meth pipe with meth residue inside, small jewelry in zip lock baggies in a larger baggie, a plastic spoon with meth residue on it, a red straw with meth residue inside of it, and a silver push rod. Due to the Officer's training and experience, these items are used to transfer, package, and distribute illegal drugs.

A general user uses approximately one-half gram per day. 5.5 grams with small jewelry baggies with a spoon with white residue on it leads a reasonable to believe there was distribution involved.





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