Car registration check ends with DUI/meth bust

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

By Jon Johnson

“Never break two laws at once.”

Tucson Defense Attorney

SAFFORD – Failure to have current registration for his vehicle may end up costing a Safford man a whole lot more.

Rudy Medina Villalba, 56, was arrested in the early morning hours of Jan. 3 for aggravated DUI and possession of a dangerous drug after initially being pulled over for having suspended vehicle registration.

According to a Safford Police report, an officer decided to run the registration of a car that was in front of him as he was eastbound on 8th Street at about 12:03 a.m.

During the traffic stop, the officer noted Villalba appeared to be under the influence of some sort of drug. After advising that he had smoked marijuana two days prior, Villalba allegedly admitted to using methamphetamine just a few hours before being pulled over for the traffic infraction.

After failing field sobriety tests, Villalba was placed under arrest. The charge was upgraded to aggravated DUI after the officer learned that Villalba’s driver’s license was also suspended. During the interaction, Villalba also advised that he had some meth on him and 2.4 grams of the drug was located in the vehicle’s center console prior to it being towed from the scene.

At the police department, officers had trouble performing a blood draw on Villalba due to poor veins and he was transported to the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, where a blood sample was obtained.

Villalba was then released to a sober friend who was waiting for him in the parking lot. Charges including aggravated DUI and possession of a dangerous drug are pending lab test results of the blood and review by the Graham County Attorney’s Office.