ST. GEORGE – Four people were arrested early Friday morning after police came across a group allegedly sharing marijuana and methamphetamine in a motel room in St. George.
Around 1:10 a.m., Friday, a St. George Police officer with the mountain bike patrol came across a large group of people smoking in the parking lot of the Sands Motel, 581 E. St. George Boulevard, near room 112. Members of the group looked like they were under 19 years old, the officer who first encountered the group wrote in a probable cause statement. Nineteen is the the legal age for acquiring tobacco products in Utah.
The officer checked the identifications of individuals in the group and came across Matthew Newbold, 19, of North Salt Lake. A check found that Newbold had an arrest warrant issued out of Bountiful. He was then arrested and searched. The officer found a small plastic baggy containing what was suspected to be crystal meth. Newbold allegedly admitted it was methamphetamine and that he had ingested it.
Newbold told police he was staying in room 112, which led to police searching the room.
“During a search of the room, it was found that the bathroom window was pushed open,” the officer wrote in the statement. “Suspected marijuana was located in the alley behind the bathroom window. Also located in the alley were two used syringes with residue and two broken multi-colored glass pipes.”
The items appeared to have been thrown out the window in an attempt to conceal them during the investigation, the officer wrote.
Police spoke to several people who were in the room. No one claimed the drugs as their own, yet some did admit the group had been sharing the meth and marijuana.
Another officer on scene encountered 21-year-old Chelsea Hunerlach, of Washington City, in the room. She told the officer she had no drugs on her, yet was allegedly found with suspected methamphetamine in her possession. She also allegedly admitted to injecting herself with methamphetamine with a syringe and smoking marijuana with others in the room.
Also present at the scene were Shawn Garett, 25, also of Washington City, and Justin Nelson, 21, of Cedar City. According to the probable cause statement, a 17-year-old girl was also present.
Newbold, Hunerlach, Nelson and Garett were arrested and booked in the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility. Each of the four was charged with a third-degree felony for drug possession and two class B misdemeanors for drug possession and paraphernalia. Garett and Nelson were also each charged with a class-A misdemeanor for obstruction of justice.
The charges were enhanced due to being a in drug-free zone.
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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