Charges filed in Burnsville meth bust

Karina Bahena-Vargas
Karina Bahena-Vargas

A Utah woman was arrested in Burnsville last week after police allegedly discovered nearly two pounds of methamphetamine in her vehicle.

Karina Bahena-Vargas, 23, of West Valley City, Utah, was booked into the Dakota County Jail following a traffic stop near Burnsville Center.

According to the criminal complaint, Burnsville police had received information that a silver Volkswagen sedan with Utah plates would be in the area of Burnsville Center on April 9 and would be transporting a large amount of drugs.

At about 8:25 p.m. that night, an officer pulled over a Volkswagen matching that description on County Road 5 near the shopping complex. The driver — Bahena-Vargas — appeared nervous and would not look directly at the officer during the initial phase of the traffic stop, the complaint said.

A police dog brought to the scene “alerted” on the vehicle, indicating the presence of drugs. Bahena-Vargas eventually told police there were two packages hidden in a filter under the hood, according to the complaint.

The Volkswagen was towed to the Burnsville Police Department and searched.

In the air-filter compartment police found two packages containing a hard substance which tested positive for methamphetamine, the complaint said. The total weight of the suspected meth was 887 grams, or 1.96 pounds.

Bahena-Vargas has been charged with both sale and possession of a controlled substance. If convicted of the two felony charges, she faces a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison and fines totaling $2 million.

Bahena-Vargas remained in custody at the Dakota County Jail as of Wednesday morning with bail set at $90,000. Her next court appearance is scheduled for May 6 in Hastings.