ST. GEORGE — Officers and detectives recovered a significant amount of drugs during two arrests that took place over the weekend.
The first incident took place Saturday shortly after 5:30 a.m., when officers and detectives with the Washington County Drug Task Force served a warrant on a residence near South Valley View Drive, according to charging documents filed with the court.
The tenant of the apartment and subject of the warrant, 19-year-old Luke Stauffer, a suspect who was already in police custody, was transported back to the residence for the search.
The suspect pointed out the location of his bedroom located on the northeast corner of the apartment on the second-floor, which agents stated smelled of marijuana and also located paraphernalia located in plain view – including scales, pipes and packaging items disbursed throughout the room.
When a safe located inside of the room was searched, the report states, detectives recovered “distributable” amounts of marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA and LSD, as well as a handgun and a significant amount of currency.
During questioning, police say Stauffer said he sold drugs from the residence using a social media platform and that he would drive as far as California to pick up the drugs that would then be distributed throughout Washington County.
According to the report, Stauffer also admitted to detectives that the cash found in his room was the proceeds from selling illegal narcotics.
The suspect was transported back to jail. On Monday, he was charged with three second-degree felony drug distribution offenses along with two third-degree felony charges: possession of 100 pounds or more of marijuana and possession of a firearm by a restricted person.
A review of court records indicate that Stauffer’s criminal history consists of three traffic violations prior to the recent case, at least from the records that could be found in Utah.
The second case involved an incident that took place shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday, when officers were dispatched to a local hotel on a report of suspicious activity involving foot traffic coming to and from the hotel room.
When the suspect opened the door, officers reportedly detected the odor of marijuana coming from the room, and also noted there were pipes, tin foil and other drug paraphernalia located on the bed and in plain view when the door was opened, according to the report.
Armed with a search warrant, officers entered the room. On the night stand, they found another pipe with a white residue consistent with suspected meth, as well as suspected heroin.
Inside of a small safe, officers recovered more than 60 grams of meth in five individual bags, along with 11 grams of heroin, nearly 22 grams of marijuana as well as scales and extra baggies.
Police say the suspect, later identified as 23-year-old Courtney Carol Moon, reportedly admitted to selling both meth and heroin from the hotel room.
Moon was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing two counts of third-degree felony possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, as well as one third-degree felony count of possession of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.
The recent arrest is one of several cases filed against the suspect, many of which include drug and theft cases and convictions filed since 2016.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and court documents and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.
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