ST. GEORGE — Two suspects were stopped at gunpoint just south of the St. George Boulevard Exit after an attempt-to-locate alert was broadcast to local police agencies on a report of a stolen truck.

On Feb. 1 shortly after 1 a.m., the St. George Consolidated Communications Center received a call about a possible motor vehicle theft. The complainant said a man had stolen a 2016 white Ford F350 with temporary California tags and was heading north on Interstate 15 toward Utah, according to charging documents filed with the court.

The reporting party said the truck was being tracked, and its last known location was northbound I-15 near the Port of Entry, the report states. An attempt-to-locate alert was sent out to all surrounding agencies, including officers in Washington County who responded to the area and spotted the truck as it crossed into Utah. 

Just north of the Brigham Road Exit near mile marker 6, officers conducted a high-risk traffic stop, ordering all occupants out of the vehicle at gunpoint. 

The driver, 48-year-old, Jason James Wass, of Riverside County, California, reportedly told officers he had purchased the truck for $43,000 from a dealership in California and had paperwork inside the truck verifying the purchase. 

Upon contacting the California dealership, police say staff confirmed Wass had paid for the vehicle with a check, but when they attempted to cash it at the bank, the check was found to be fraudulent. The truck was then reported as stolen.  

During a search of the driver, the report alleges, officers recovered a U.S. passport that belonged to a resident of Nevada with a photo that did not match him. 

The passenger, Jonathan A. Carriles, of Molino, Florida, also was detained. In his possession, police say they found two driver’s licenses issued to separate individuals and several bank cards that did not belong to him. The driver’s licenses issued out of Florida had a photo of Carriles but were under a different name that matched names on the bank cards. 

When officers explained the reason for the stop, Carriles reportedly denied knowing the truck was stolen and said the driver had purchased the truck from a GMC dealership earlier that same day. “That’s all he knew,” he said, and then refused to answer any further questions without an attorney present, the officer recounted in the report. 

Both suspects were arrested and transported to jail in Washington County. During transport, Wass requested an attorney so no further information was provided regarding the stolen vehicle or the items recovered during a search of the vehicle. The items included a crossbow, a knife and a handgun reported stolen out of Washington State, as well as suspected methamphetamine. 

Officers also found a notebook that contained a list of social security numbers, along with four additional bank cards and ID cards belonging to other individuals. 

Stock image of Riverside County, Calif., date not specified | Photo by Matt Gush/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

The driver was booked into jail on 10 charges, including one count of receiving and possessing a stolen vehicle, a second-degree felony, six third-degree felony counts of unlawful acquisition of a financial card, one count of unlawfully possessing the identification of another and one count of possession of a firearm by a restricted person. He also faces misdemeanor charges of possession of drugs and paraphernalia.   

The passenger, Carriles, was also booked into jail facing more than a dozen charges, including one second-degree felony count of possession of a stolen vehicle. He also faces 10 third-degree felonies, including one count of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, seven counts of unlawful acquisition of a financial card and one count of unlawfully possessing the identification of another, along with misdemeanor possession of another’s identification, drugs and paraphernalia charges. 

On Feb. 2, both defendants were formally charged with the offenses. Carriles is scheduled for a preliminary waiver hearing on Feb. 15. Wass is scheduled to appear for a preliminary waiver hearing on March 15. Both defendants remain in custody in Washington County on a no-bail hold.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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