CEDAR CITY – A 31-year-old man was arrested for alleged drug distribution Monday following a series of undercover, controlled drug buys overseen by the area narcotics task force.
In three separate instances in March, a confidential informant told the Iron/Garfield/Beaver Counties Narcotics Task Force it was possible to buy marijuana and morphine from a seller indentified as Jason Ballenger of Cedar City, according to a probable cause statement supporting the arrest.
On March 9 and March 13, a confidential informant was used to purchase a substance believed to be marijuana from Ballenger. Another substance, believed to be morphine, was purchased via an informant on March 20.
Task force agents took Ballenger into custody Monday. According to the probable cause statement, he admitted to police that he had been selling marijuana and morphine to at least 12-15 other people.
Ballenger was arrested and booked into the Iron County Jail on a first-degree felony and two second-degree felonies related to drug distribution.
Prior to Ballenger’s arrest Monday, he had been arrested by Cedar City Police on March 28 for suspected drug distribution and possession.
In this instance, officers were informed Ballenger was allegedly selling marijuana. They visited the residence where Ballenger lives with his fiance and a roommate, yet he wasn’t home at the time. They told police Ballenger had marijuana in the house and had been selling about a quarter-pound of it a week, according to a probable cause statement.
Officers were allowed to search the home and found suspected marijuana, hash, a scale, baggies and other drug paraphernalia, along with $1,446. All of the items were found in the same drawer, which police saw as evidence of Ballenger selling narcotics, according to the statement.
Ballenger was arrested and booked into the county jail and later released on bail until he was arrested again on Monday.
Both cases are making their way through the court. Ballenger has an arraignment hearing connected to the March 28 arrest scheduled for May 12, while also facing a preliminary hearing for the Monday arrest on Wednesday.
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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