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15-year-old leads police on northern Utah chase for 70 miles, police say

SHARE 15-year-old leads police on northern Utah chase for 70 miles, police say
Utah Highway Patrol trooper Steve Shaffer sits in his car working on his computer Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City.

A Utah Highway Patrol trooper works on his computer in this file photo.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Two people who had been sleeping in a car were arrested on suspicion of dealing drugs after a 15-year-old driver led police on a long chase in northern Utah.

The chase started in Idaho Thursday and continued for as much as 70 miles before Utah Highway Patrol troopers were able to spike the vehicle’s tires in Box Elder County, bringing the chase to an end.

In the car, troopers found a 15-year-old unlicensed driver.

“The juvenile explained he started driving due to the adult males being tired. He explained when he started getting pulled over he was scared due to not having a license and decided to flee,” according to a police affidavit.

Austin Bickler, 20, told investigators he allowed the teenager to drive so he could sleep, the affidavit states. Neither he nor Abukar Sharif Sheikh, 19, who was also in the car, told the boy to pull over when he was being chased, according to troopers.

Inside the car, investigators found a large quantity of marijuana, THC vape cartridges and THC wax, the affidavit states.

“The amount of raw marijuana and the total amount of cartridges/wax is more than personal use amount even for a road trip. The individuals had conflicting stories of destination and I believe they were in route to deliver the marijuana to the Salt Lake City area,” a trooper wrote in the affidavit.

Both adults were booked into the Box Elder County Jail for investigation of drug possession with intent to distribute and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The affidavit does not say whether the 15-year-old was also taken into custody.