IDAHO FALLS – A 32-year-old man was arrested after police say he was caught trying to traffic methamphetamine in eastern Idaho.
Jose Ivan Chavarria-Briano was charged with felony drug trafficking of methamphetamine or amphetamine.
On Sept. 11, around 7:18 p.m., a sergeant with the Idaho State Police stopped a 2022 Nissan Altima near milepost 117 for following another car too closely.
According to the police report, the Nissan was following a commercial vehicle at “less than a 1-second following distance.”
The driver was identified as Chavarria-Briano. The sergeant writes in his report that Chavarria-Briano “had a nervous, frightened expression on his face.”
When the sergeant asked Chavarria-Briano to open the center console, he reportedly saw a “large amount of cash.”
Chavarria-Briano said he “had just got paid” and “nervously glanced at a black backpack on the passenger front seat,” according to court documents.
When asked about the backpack, Chavarria-Briano said it belonged to one of his kids.
The sergeant said he was issuing Chavarria-Briano a written warning for following the car too closely and asked him to come back to his patrol car while he wrote up the warning.
During that time, the sergeant asked dispatch to bring a drug K9 to the scene.
An officer with the Idaho Falls Police Department responded and ran the K9 around the car. The K9 gave a positive alert to the odor of narcotics in Chavarria-Briano’s car.
A search of the Nissan reportedly found 12.8 ounces of methamphetamine in the black backpack. Multiple smaller ziplock baggies “commonly used for packaging controlled substances” and other items of drug paraphernalia were also found.
While searching the center console, officials reportedly found more methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
The total amount of cash found in the console and in Chavarria-Briano’s wallet was $7,329. He later admitted that it was “for purchasing drugs,” according to police.
Chavarria-Briano admitted to transporting the methamphetamine from Salt Lake City to a home in Idaho Falls, police said.
He was arrested and booked into the Bonneville County Jail with a bond of $35,000. He is expected to appear for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 26.
If convicted, Chavarria-Briano could be sentenced to up to life in prison.
Although Chavarria-Briano has been charged with these crimes, it doesn’t necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.