Earlier this week Arizona officials broke up a massive drug smuggling ring which was responsible for moving more than $33 million dollars worth of drugs through the state’s western desert every month.
Utah is no stranger to drug smuggling activity as millions of dollars worth of drugs are carried through Utah every day and according to the Utah Highway Patrol, who are largely responsible for monitoring smuggling activities, say that drug smuggling is on the rise.
On of the reasons Utah is so attractive to drug smugglers is the I-15 corridor and other long interstate systems which connects Utah to numerous other states including Arizona.
Utah Highway Patrol troopers are specially trained to look for indicators consistent with people transporting illegal drugs. Those indicators include vehicles which aren’t registered to the person driving the car, the driver is unemployed, and the trips involve long distances within short periods of time but mostly discrepancies in the stories told to the investigating trooper.
Smugglers will go to great lengths to hide the drugs they are carrying including creating secret compartments within the vehicle. Troopers have discovered drugs concealed in the dashboard, spare tires, and the gas tank.
Drug smuggling is an issue in Utah and carries with it serious consequences. Depending on the schedule and quantity of illegal drugs found, smugglers could face a minimum of a $250,000 fine and 5 years in prison.