Enoch man sentenced to prison on multiple drug charges

Stock photo by Alex Star/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — An Enoch man whose run-ins with the law include numerous criminal charges over the past two years was sentenced to prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to multiple drug counts.

Sutton Thomas Snyder, 23, was ordered by 5th District Judge Keith C. Barnes to serve three terms of zero to five years in the Utah State Prison with the sentences to run concurrently. 

After reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors, Snyder had pleaded guilty to third-degree felony charges of attempted distribution of a controlled substance and attempted possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Snyder’s most recent charges stem from his arrest June 30 when he was accused of smuggling suboxone into the Iron County Jail and attempting to distribute it to other inmates while incarcerated. 

“The charges you’ve picked up over the past two years … (are) of great concern to this court,” Barnes told Snyder just before he handed down the sentencing. 

Sutton Thomas Snyder appears in court via teleconference from Iron County Jail, Cedar City, Utah, July 21, 2020 | Image courtesy of Fifth District Court, St. George News / Cedar City News

Defense attorney Troy Sundquist told the court that while prison time was “not the ideal situation” for his client, it did allow for Snyder’s third-degree felony charges to potentially be resolved sooner than if they’d been adjudicated as more serious second-degree felonies.

“He doesn’t want to go to prison, but under the circumstances, that’s what he’s choosing to do,” Sundquist told the court.

Given a chance to address the court via teleconference from the jail, Snyder admitted to his problems with drug addiction.

“I agree with all that my attorney says,” Snyder said. “I need treatment. Obviously, I have a drug issue. I admit that. But I want to be able to move on with my life.”

Right after the sentencing, Iron County Attorney Chad Dotson sent the following written statement to Cedar City News:

Sutton Snyder has been a repeat offender since 2018 in Iron County. He has contributed to and fed the drug addictions of others, endangered children with his addiction, and victimized community members by committing thefts and assaults during that time period. He has continually absconded and missed court hearings. The state felt probation was not going to be a viable option. We hope that being removed from the community and serving time in prison will benefit both him and Iron County.

In addition to the felony charges, Snyder was also sentenced on multiple misdemeanor counts Tuesday, including two counts of retail theft or shoplifting and one each of assault and attempted witness tampering. Restitution was left open with monetary amounts to be finalized later, the judge said.

Exactly how much time Snyder will end up serving in prison will be up to the Board of Pardons to decide.

Just under two years ago, on Aug. 2, 2018, Snyder was reportedly the driver at fault in a crash involving two semitractors just north of Cedar City. Utah Highway Patrol officials later confirmed to Cedar City News that Snyder was the driver cited for the moving violation that caused the crash, in addition to driving on a suspended license and without proof of insurance.

Then, less than one week after that traffic collision, Snyder was arrested by an off-duty police officer and booked into jail on suspicion of numerous charges, including drug possession and assault.

In the two years since then, Snyder has been a defendant in at least 10 separate criminal cases, eight of them in Iron County. Although some counts had been dismissed prior to Tuesday’s sentencing, court records indicate Snyder still has two pending drug cases outside of Iron County: one each in Washington and Salt Lake counties.

Snyder, who has been housed in Iron County Jail since mid-June, was ordered to begin serving his sentence as soon as possible, pending transportation to the state prison. 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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