Police task force intercepts meth hidden in box of Twinkies

Police find packets of methamphetamine in a box of Twinkies at the post office in Parowan, Utah, June 18, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Parowan Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A package intercepted at the Parowan post office Monday contained nearly half of an ounce of methamphetamine hidden in a shipment of popular snacks.

An arrest was made, but officials did not immediately identify the suspect.

The package was shipped through the U.S. mail and authorities believe the majority of the drugs would have been sold locally, Parowan Police Chief Ken Carpenter told St. George News Tuesday.

Packages of methamphetamine were discovered in a box containing snacks at the post office in Parowan, Utah, June 18, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Parowan Police Department, St. George News

The Iron/Garfield/Beaver Counties Narcotics Task Force spearheaded the investigation and seizure of the drugs.

Armed with a warrant, agents searched the package and found 12 grams of meth hidden in a box of Twinkies, Little Debbie snack cakes and a bag of Doritos chips, according to a statement released Monday by the police department.

The street value is estimated at just under $300.

A former agent with the Washington County Drug Task Force, who asked to remain anonymous, said methamphetamine prices have dropped dramatically over the last few years due to an increased supply.

The price has dropped more than 400 percent since 2010.

The Parowan Police Department employs five full-time officers, one of whom was assigned to the drug task force as a full-time agent a year ago, Carpenter said.

Monday’s arrest is one of more than 65 he has been involved in since he was assigned, and about a third of those involved drugs moving into the Parowan/Paragonah area.

Packages of methamphetamine were seized by the Iron/Garfield/Beaver Counties Narcotics Task Force at the post office in Parowan, Utah, June 18, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Parowan Police Department, St. George News

Assigning an officer to the drug task force is critical in reducing crime across the board in Parawan, Carpenter said, adding that a majority of property crimes, theft and even violent crime in the area can be traced back to illicit drug use.

“We have drugs moving into Parowan and by dedicating one full-time officer to the task force we are reducing crime in just about every other area.”

Carpenter said that intercepting drugs means that is one less shipment that will be sold to Parowan residents and possibly reduce the criminal activity potentially associated with it.

“We would not be as successful without the relationships established, community partnerships and leadership of agency administrators,” Carpenter said.

The Iron/Garfield/Beaver Counties Narcotics Task Force is an agency that serves a three-county area of nearly 60,000 people, task force commander Jeff Malcom said.

The team works with police departments, as well as county, state and federal agencies to conduct investigations and make arrests.

Malcom said the task force has five officers, one from each of the participating agencies: Utah Highway Patrol, Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Parowan Police Department, Cedar City Police Department and the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office.

“So it’s basically five guys covering the three counties and we have extremely motivated agents that work very hard.”

The task force operates on an annual budget of about $68,000, with each agent’s salary covered by the police department they are assigned from.

Every year the number of arrests have increased, Malcom said. Last year, the task force had 142 arrests for the year, a number that will likely be eclipsed this year.

“We were at 84 arrests in the second week of June, and the year’s barely half over.”

Malcom said that if every crime, including domestic violence, property crimes, theft and violent crimes, were piled on a table and the illicit drug problem was removed, “a majority of those crimes would go right along with it,” he said.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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8 Comments

  • Real Life June 19, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    This is genius. Eat twinkies and lose weight.

    • Striker4 June 20, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      hey No Life are you going to be upset if they don’t give you your Twinkies back ?

  • ladybugavenger June 19, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    The price if meth has dropped alot. I thought $300 street value was a mistake, until I read the next paragraph.

  • Carpe Diem June 19, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    I would hope the lower price was due to lack of demand.

  • Mean Momma June 20, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Soooo this article sucked… so many unanswered questions. Why did they suspect there were drugs in the package in the first place? Did they use a k-9 officer to sniff it out? Did they get a tip from someone about the package containing drugs? They have to have probable cause to get a warrant. We need more info!!!

    • ladybugavenger June 20, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      It’s so confusing since it was twinkies. I mean, if it was as donut box it would make more sense.

      Oh my goodness, I’m just playing around Narcotics Task Force. You know the old stereotype only applies to street cops 😉

  • Rob83 June 20, 2018 at 8:04 am

    Aside from the actual story, there was a great amount in detail given in this article. I enjoyed it.

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