ST. GEORGE — Two Washington County women were arrested on felony drug distribution charges during a traffic stop Thursday as they were returning home from an alleged Las Vegas drug run.
Authorities attempted to stop a Subaru Forrester for an equipment violation Thursday evening as it traveled on northbound Interstate 15 near the Port of Entry at the Utah state line.
The driver of the vehicle failed to stop for several miles before exiting the interstate at Brigham Road Exit 4 and getting stopped behind a semi, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Washington County Drug Task Force in support of the arrest.
The pursuing officer then drove his patrol car in front of the Subaru to force the driver to stop, according to the statement.
The officer spoke to the driver – identified as 21-year-old Mackenzie Lee Clark, of St. George – and told her to move the Subaru to the side of the road, the report states. Clark moved her vehicle forward and did not stop until the officer yelled at her to stop and turn her vehicle off.
When questioned, Clark reportedly told police that “she had never been stopped on the interstate before and didn’t know if she could,” the arresting officer wrote in the sworn statement.
Prior to the vehicle stopping, police had observed a passenger in the vehicle – later identified as 30-year-old Ashley Marie Harmer, of Washington City – moving between the front seat and the back seat of the car, the report states.
During the stop, a narcotics K-9 was deployed on the Subaru and alerted to the presence of drugs.
During a subsequent search of the vehicle, two large packages of methamphetamine were found, according to charging documents. Officials also allegedly located a small scale and a small amount of meth in Harmer’s purse.
Clark allegedly admitted to transporting the drugs from Nevada to Utah, and that she did not stop when officers tried to pull her over because Harmer “was telling her to keep going,” the report states.
Harmer and Clark were transported and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court accusing Harmer of first-degree felony drug possession with the intent to distribute; two third-degree felony counts of drug possession and failure to stop at the command of police; and class B misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
Harmer’s charges were enhanced due to felony drug convictions in 2012 and 2013, according to charging documents.
Clark was charged with two third-degree felony counts of drug possession with the intent to distribute and failure to stop at the command of police.
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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