Grand Jury Returns Indictment Charging Pair with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute
SALT LAKE CITY - A federal grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday afternoon charging two individuals from the Los Angeles area with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Charged in the indictment are Miriam Machado, age 36, and Benito Urbina, age 33.
Machado and Urbina were arrested Feb. 9, 2014, following a traffic stop by the Utah Highway Patrol in Salt Lake County. A Unified Police Department K-9 officer responded to the traffic stop which resulted in a positive indication of illegal narcotics in the vehicle. Upon further investigation, officers discovered a hidden compartment filled with numerous bags of an unknown substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine and heroin. According to a complaint filed in the case, the total weight of the meth was 16.1 pounds and the approximate weight of the heroin was 2.42 pounds.
According to the complaint, during subsequent interviews, Machado and Urbina admitted transporting illegal contraband in the vehicle and being compensated for transporting the contraband from the Los Angeles area to Salt Lake City
Machado’s 5-year-old daughter, who was in the car when the traffic stop was executed, was turned over to Child Protective Services.
The potential maximum penalty for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute 500 grams or more is up to life in prison with a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years. Machado and Urbina, who are in federal custody pending resolution of the case, are scheduled for an initial appearance on the indictment Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in U.S. Magistrate Judge Dustin Pead’s courtroom.
Indictments are not findings of guilt. Individuals charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.
The case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations special agents, the Utah Highway Patrol, and the Unified Police Department.