Utah County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested an Orem man Monday after they allegedly discovered $14,000 worth of methaphetamine in a Nevada man’s vehicle last week.
According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, authorities patrolling the area near mile marker 154 on State Road 6 on Sept. 23 observed a yellow pickup truck traveling east at a very low speed. While watching the truck continue down SR 6, deputies also witnessed the truck swerve out of its lane of travel and leave the roadway several times.
Authorities initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, which came to a stop before it could drive into a ditch on the side of the road. Officials were able to make contact with the driver, identified as 43-year-old Jason Andrew Vangundy of Henderson, Nevada, who exhibited signs of being impaired, including bloodshot and droopy eyes, dilated pupils, and slowed and slurred speech.
After completing the standard field sobriety test, deputies found Vangundy was reportedly not safe to drive, and he was placed under arrest under the suspicion for driving under the influence, according to arrest documents.
Authorities completed an inventory of Vangundy’s vehicle and allegedly found used needles on the passenger seat as well as large quantities of methamphetamine on the floorboard.
Originally, authorities reported finding about 560 individual doses of methamphetamine, which is worth about $5,600. After further investigation, police — in total — found about 1,400 individual doses, which is estimated to be worth about $14,000, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Police also reportedly discovered THC gummies and pipes that are commonly used to smoke marijuana as well as packaging and a scale, which officials advised is consistent with distribution of narcotics.
Authorities transported Vangundy to the Utah County Jail where a urine and blood sample was collected. A rapid triage of the urine test indicated positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine.
During an interview with police, according to arrest documents, Vangundy allegedly said he had met a man at a Provo gas station who had asked for a ride, stating that the men must have left the drugs in his truck.
Vangundy reportedly identified the man as 35-year-old Russell Jacob Johnson of Orem. Police allegedly discovered a wallet that belonged to Johnson inside of the vehicle while conducting a search.
On Monday, authorities made contact with Johnson, who allegedly told police he had met Vangundy for the first time behind a Provo Walmart. Vangundy reportedly told authorities they began talking about drugs when Vangundy offered him “a shard of meth,” according to the probable cause statement.
Johnson allegedly told deputies Vangundy then propositioned him about selling drugs, telling him he did not know anyone in Utah and needed help. Johnson reportedly agreed and told Vangundy he knew someone who would probably be interested in buying heroin.
During the interview, Johnson also told police they were unable to sell the heroin at a residence in the Riverwoods but were able to make $40 from the sale of methamphetamine.
While in the car, Vangundy allegedly bragged about being able to acquire large amounts of methamphetamine from Las Vegas, inviting his new friend to drive to southern Nevada with him to pick up more product to be distributed in Utah, Johnson reportedly said.
The pair went to Smith’s, and when Johnson came out of the store looking for the vehicle, Vangundy was reportedly gone, having stolen Johnson’s two backpacks.
Johnson was taken into custody Monday under the suspicion of second-degree felony possession with intent to distribute and class A misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. He was also arrested for an active misdemeanor warrant involving retail theft.
He is currently being held at the Utah County Jail on $10,000 bail.