WASHINGTON COUNTY — A 31-year-old man is facing five felonies among other charges Tuesday after authorities discovered him in a truck alleged to have been stolen from St. George, with potentially five stolen credit cards in his pocket.
Deputies observed a GMC pickup truck in the driveway of a residence on the 200 West block of 660 North in LaVerkin with a man and two women inside, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in support of the arrest. When the truck license plate was run through Spillman public safety technology, deputies were alerted that the truck had been reported stolen out of St. George.
The deputies pulled behind the truck and activated their emergency lights. The three individuals inside the truck were then each detained and handcuffed.
The driver, later identified as Cory Steven Mendenhall, of Ridgecrest, California, initially told deputies his name was Christopher King, according to the statement. He also told authorities he obtained the truck through a friend.
During a search of Mendenhall’s person, authorities located five different credit/debit cards, each card bearing a different name; none of the cards listed Mendenhall’s first or last name, the statement said. Also found in Mendenhall’s pocket was a female’s Arizona identification card.
According to the statement of probable cause, two of the credit cards were confirmed stolen, and the other three cards are still under investigation.
As deputies searched the bed of the stolen truck, the statement said, they located a bag containing marijuana and two syringes.
It was also discovered that Mendenhall had an outstanding warrant for his arrest issued by the Washington County Justice Court for a traffic offense, as well as an active extradition NCIC warrant out of Nevada.
The two women were released, one with minor drug possession charges, while Mendenhall was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
He was charged with one second-degree felony for theft, five third-degree felonies for unlawful acquisition of a financial card without consent, one class A misdemeanor for possession of another’s identifying document, two class B misdemeanors for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, and one class C misdemeanor for giving a false personal identity to an officer.
In Utah, the penalties Mendenhall potentially faces for each of his charges are as follows:
- Second-degree felony: One to 15 years in prison — up to $10,000 fine
- Third-degree felony: Zero to five years in prison — up to $5,000 fine
- Class A misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail — up to $2,500 fine
- Class B misdemeanor: Up to six months in jail — up to $1,000 fine
- Class C misdemeanor: Up to 90 days in jail — up to $750 fine
During Mendenhall’s initial court appearance Tuesday, 5th District Court Judge G. Michael Westfall ordered $30,000 bail for his release pending trial.
Mendenhall was found indigent by the court and will be represented by court-appointed attorney Michael Lastowski.
Mendenhall is scheduled to make his next court appearance Oct. 19.
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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