ST. GEORGE — Undercover investigations by the Washington County Drug Task Force led to the take down of two alleged drug dealers in St. George last week.
The task force conducted separate and unrelated narcotics distribution investigations into 30-year-old Gorge Oswaldo Ortiz and 22-year-old Tylor Scott Leon Brotherson, both of St. George, according to probable cause statements written by the task force in support of the arrests.
During the course of the investigations over the last several months, the task force conducted controlled buys of illegal narcotics in Washington County through the use of a confidential informants who purchased drugs from Ortiz and Brotherson on separate occasions.
Members of the task force attempted to arrest Ortiz earlier this year but were unable to locate him. They received information he had moved to the Salt Lake City area.
On Monday, detectives noticed Ortiz had been arrested for an outstanding warrant out of Salt Lake, according to the probable cause statement. Detectives went to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility where Ortiz was booked and added the additional charges.
Ortiz was charged with four second-degree felonies for drug distribution.
Judge John J. Walton, of the 5th District Court, ordered $40,000 bail for Ortiz’s release pending trial. He was found indigent by the court during his initial court appearance Tuesday and will be represented by court-appointed attorney Douglas Terry. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance Nov. 9.
Brotherson was arrested Tuesday. Because of prior drug convictions he was charged with two first-degree felonies for drug distribution, along with two class B misdemeanors for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Walton ordered $43,700 bail for Brotherson’s release pending trial. He was found indigent by the court during his initial court appearance Tuesday and will be represented by court-appointed attorney Aric Cramer. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance Nov. 9.
In Utah, the penalties the two men potentially face for each charge are as follows:
- First-degree felony: Five years to life in prison — up to $10,000 fine
- Second-degree felony: One to 15 years in prison — up to $10,000 fine
- Class B misdemeanor: Up to six months in jail — up to $1,000 fine
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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