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A man gets stopped for non-working brake lights, police find THC, an open container, and a loaded gun

By Travis Uresk


Roosevelt, Ut. On 1/4/24, Officer Arnold was patrolling eastbound on 200 North when a vehicle in front of him started slowing down for the stop light at 200 East 200 North, and the only functioning brake light was the one on the cab.

The vehicle also had a registration sticker that was out of date. The vehicle turned left, and Officer Arnold made a traffic stop in the Arby's parking lot.

The officer informed the driver of the reason for the stop and asked for his license and proof of insurance. The driver stated that he only had a learner's permit, and the officer told him he needed someone with him. The driver said he knew that, but his Grandma was sleeping, and he had nobody else to ride with him.

The driver handed the officer his learner's permit, identifying him as 32-year-old Gabriel Isaac Martin Wesley-Cota.

Gabriel told the officer that the vehicle was insured, but he didn't have a copy of the insurance. While Officer Arnold was speaking with Gabriel, he could smell the odor of a burnt substance. Gabriel stated that there was nothing illegal in the vehicle and that the smell was probably from his vape.

Officer Arnold returned to his patrol vehicle to check Gabriel's information and found that the vehicle was registered and insured, so he started to write the citation for the learner's permit violation.

When returning to Gabriel's vehicle, he again asked about the burnt smell. Gabriel again said there was nothing illegal inside the vehicle. Officer Arnold asked if he could search the vehicle to ensure nothing illegal existed, and Gabriel consented.

During the search on the passenger side, several vapes appeared to be regular nicotine vapes. There was also an open container of alcohol sitting in the truck. In the center console there was a loaded and cocked handgun in a fabric holster. The pistol was taken out of the bag and put off to the side. The rear seat and the bed of the truck were searched, and nothing of interest was found.

On the driver's side, a knife and several more vapes were found stuffed down between the seat and the center console. The officer could smell the odor of marijuana coming from these vapes. Gabriel stated that they were marijuana vapes, but he had a medical card and said he was on probation.

Officer Arnold gathered everything he found and told Gabriel to go back to his truck for now while the investigation continued.

The officer was unable to contact Gabriel's probation officer due to the marijuana and the open container. The officers decided to perform a field sobriety test.

Field Sobriety:

Before the HGN tests, I asked Gabriel if he wore contacts or glasses. Gabriel informed me that he had a problem with one of his eyes. I asked Gabriel if he was currently wearing contacts, and he said he was not. I had Gabriel remove his hat, and I began the tests. Gabriel had equal pupil size and equal tracking in both eyes. I observed a lack of smooth pursuit in both of Gabriel's eyes. Distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation was observed in both eyes. Nystagmus prior to 45 degrees was not observed.
4 out of 6 clues.

One Leg Stand:
I asked Gabriel if he had any problems with his legs. Gabriel explained that he had previously had surgery on one of his legs, so we made sure to inform him that he could choose which leg he used for the test. As I was trying to explain the test to Gabriel, he tried to perform another test that he had not been asked to do. I explained the test and demonstrated it to Gabriel. I then instructed Gabriel to begin. Gabriel raised his foot and began swaying, and continued to sway throughout the test.
1 out of 4 clues.

Walk and Turn:
Sgt. Bird instructed Gabriel on how to do the Walk and Turn, then demonstrated it to Gabriel. Gabriel had a hard time balancing as the instructions were given. Gabriel began the test, and I noticed that with each step, he had to stop and carefully place his foot and slide to not miss heel-toe. At the end of the first 9 steps, Gabriel made an improper turn, using his arm to balance as he turned. As Gabriel took the 9 steps back, he again had to stop and slide his foot so as not to miss heel-toe.
4 out of 8 clues. ~Officer Arnold

Gabriel was then arrested and told the officers that he hadn't had any alcohol but had used marijuana about five hours before this.

Sgt. Bird was able to contact Gabriel's probation officer, who confirmed that he was on with AP&P. Officer Reed checked the handgun closer and found that the serial number had been filed off, had a round in the chamber, and was cocked back ready to fire.

Gabriel was taken to the UBMC ER for a medical clearance and a blood draw. After leaving the hospital, Sgt Bird asked Gabriel about the filed-off serial number on the gun, and he said he had purchased it that way.

Gabriel never provided any proof of having a medical marijuana card.


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