ST. GEORGE — A search warrant executed Monday in an area of the Arizona Strip on the Utah-Arizona border resulted in five felony arrests and the seizure of multiple firearms. Authorities said the suspects have been supplying heroin and methamphetamine to residents along the rural areas in both states.
Tuesday’s arrests came on the heels of a three month investigation by the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team into a drug trafficking organization living in an area of the Arizona Strip on the 700 block of North Stagger Mountain Road.
Investigators determined that the residents of the property were the main source of heroin and methamphetamine impacting the quality of life for citizens in Fredonia, Arizona, and Kanab, Utah, Kingman Police said in a statement.
The investigation – dubbed “Operation County Line” – resulted in purchases of methamphetamine from suspects at the property over the three month period, officials said in the statement. However, history of drug related arrests stemming from the Stagger Mountain property went back two years.
The property – described by authorities as approximately 1 acre in size with five livable residences and approximately 75 vehicles – is located a few hundred feet into Mohave County from the Coconino County border on the Arizona Strip.
The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Operations Unit and the Arizona Department of Public Safety SWAT Team executed the search warrant at the property during the early morning hours Tuesday.
During a search of the property, four guns and several items of contraband were seized.
The following suspects were arrested Tuesday at the time the search warrant was executed:
Richard Glenn Jessop, 64, of an unincorporated area of Mohave County, was charged with two felonies for conspiracy to commit narcotic drugs for sale and conspiracy to commit dangerous drugs for sale.
Melinda Lark Atwood-Evenson, 47, of an unincorporated area of Mohave County, was charged with possession for sale of dangerous drugs, trafficking in dangerous drugs for sale, and conspiracy to commit sale of narcotic drugs.
Theodore Lawrence Jessop, 30, of an unincorporated area of Mohave County, was charged with conspiracy to commit dangerous drugs for sale, conspiracy to commit narcotic drugs for sale, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Joshua Glenn Jessop, 28, of an unincorporated area of Mohave County, was charged with possession of weapon by prohibited possessor, conspiracy to commit narcotic drugs for sale, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Ephraim Ernest Black, 28, of an unincorporated area of Mohave County, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Prior to the search warrant, two other suspects were arrested Nov. 4 in relation to the operation.
Katie Dawn Millett, 27, and Danny Allen Markland, 49, both of an unincorporated area of Mohave County, were arrested on drug-related charges, including possession of narcotic drugs for sale, possession of narcotic drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, and conspiracy to commit dangerous drugs for sale.
The Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team; the High Intensity Drug Task Areas program, a federal initiative; and an Arizona Criminal Justice Commission supported task force thanked the Washington County and Kane County sheriff’s offices for assistance in the investigation.
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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