St George News

Washington County Drug Task Force nets multiple arrests

HURRICANE – Washington County Task Force netted four drug arrests on Thursday, two of which are connected to a stolen vehicle and failed attempt to run from police.

The incident involving both the task force and the Hurricane City Police Department occurred at approximately 11 p.m., Thursday, when an HCPD officer attempted to stop a Jeep SUV for traffic violations.

According to an HCPD press release, officers had been made aware that Boyd Brooke, 30, of Toquerville., was in the SUV and that he also had a warrant out for his arrest.

The HPCD officer observed Brooke make multiple traffic violations and initiated a traffic stop. However, Brooke failed to stop the vehicle and lead officers on a small pursuit along state Route 9 and then on to 6300 West State.

A female was in the SUV as well and was pushed out of the vehicle as it slowed down to make a turn. The female, identified as 49-year-old Stacey Jo Palmerson, was not injured.

The SUV then went off the roadway, through a fence and high centered on several rocks. Brooke then attempted to flee on foot and was apprehended by members of the task force.

The SUV Brooke was driving was reported stolen out of Washington City.

According to probable cause statements, when Brooke was arrested, he was found to have substances alleged to be methamphetamine and marijuana on his person. A search of the SUV also produced a handgun, possible additional marijuana and a glass methamphetamine pipe.

Palmerson, who had been a passenger in the SUV until she was pushed out, was arrested due to having access to the marijuana and methamphetamine found on the passenger seat. After being taken to the county jail she told officers she had methamphetamine hidden on her person.

Brooke was also arrested and booked into the county jail. He faces multiple charges including traffic violations, drug possession and drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of firearms by a restricted individual, possessing a stolen vehicle, and attempting to flee from police. Bail has been set at $211,337.

Palmerson is also facing drug-related charges, as well as an obstruction of justice charge. Her bail as been set at $200,000.

The task force also made two additional drug arrests in unrelated incidents Thursday.

The task arrested Keith Hall, 63, for drug possession and drug paraphernalia. Task force officers served a search warrant at a Hurricane residence and came in contact with Hall. While searching Hall’s bedroom the task force discovered a glass pipe. Within the pipe was a white crystal substance alleged to be methamphetamine.

Hall was arrested and booked into the county jail. Bail currently stands at $5,389

Todd Ventassel, 50, of St. George, was arrested on four felony counts of drug manufacturing and distribution.

St. George Police Capt. Kyle Whitehead said the task force had conducted four controlled buys from Ventassell over the last three months within the county. Charges against Vantassell were enhanced due to his being near a “drug free zone” when the buys occurred.

Vantassell was booked into the county jail and bail is currently set at $80,000.

Ed. Note: Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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  5 Comments
  1. ladybugavenger August 25, 2013 at 4:59 pm · Reply

    Not impressed…The drug task force made 4 controlled buys in three months. The other incident was not part of an investigation. They were driving a stolen vehicle and that’s how they got caught.

  2. ladybugavenger August 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm · Reply

    What about the hundreds of uncontrolled buys in three months…They are so worried about getting their name in the paper about how good they did, how big the bust is, how big the fish is. That there are hundreds of guppies in this pond that they are missing and they are growing up to be bigger fish. Get the guppies and you will get hundreds of bust and put fear in the fish. Where there is no fear, there is no change.

  3. ladybugavenger August 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm · Reply

    The bust also come from traffic stops. “Get your tail light fixed.” “Illegal land change.” “I pulled you over because you don’t have insurance.” (How many people has that happened to and they DID have insurance at the time of getting pulled over. My son and then Me. that’s two anyone else?) This game that is being played and funded by the federal government started 40 years ago as a war on drugs…Now its all about how much money can we get to fund us and we will do a few bust to keep the money coming in. It’s not a war on drugs. It’s a cat and mouse game. Perhaps, the police, and drug task force profit off of the drugs and that’s why citizens that report drug activity are widely ignored.

  4. ladybugavenger August 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm · Reply

    *lane

  5. commenters August 25, 2013 at 7:33 pm · Reply

    True. It’s a victimless crime. They ares just generating revenue. I’ve seen a bomb squad hype a situation to get funding. The task force does the same thing. It makes us think they are doing somethng productive.

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