ST. GEORGE – Hawking your old couch, looking for a job or a new apartment and even finding someone to fix your computer, all can be found on the St. George craigslist page. An ad that caught the eyes of the St. George Police was found Tuesday – an ad for heroin in St. George.
The poster of the ad solicited buyers for black tar heroin, one of the forms of heroin as opposed to powdered heroin. It is a common form and typically sold at the lowest level in balloons, which are small balls the size of a pencil eraser.
The heroin in the ad found is selling for $100 per gram and $25 per balloon.
Possessing heroin is a third-degree felony in Utah and carries a sentence of up to five years and/or up to a $5,000 fine. Distributing drugs is a second-degree felony and carries a sentence of up to 15 years and/or up to $10,000 fine. (See editor’s clarification below.)
The drug task force is evaluating the situation and has created a report, St. George Police Captain Kyle Whitehead said.
“On that website and blogs people can post pretty much anything they want on it,” Whitehead said. “It’s a little out of the ordinary for someone advertising drugs online, but people put a lot of other stuff on there. On occasion we get information that comes through craigslist and we have to evaluate each case.”
Craigslist has a list of prohibited items including “prescription drugs, medical devices; controlled substances and related items.” The website’s monitoring policy, or lack there of, includes a flagging model where users can flag posts that may be false, misleading or illegal.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
St. George News reporter Drew Allred contributed to this story.
Ed. CLARIFICATION Nov. 23, 2016 – Possible convictions vary depending upon whether or not intent to produce, manufacture or dispense is involved. According to Utah statutes in 2016, possession of heroin with the intent to produce, manufacture or dispense is a second degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years; upon a second or subsequent conviction possession of heroin with such intent is a first degree felony. Mere possession or use of heroin (without the other intents) is a class A misdemeanor on a first or second conviction and a third degree felony on a third or subsequent conviction. Other factors and law may come into play depending upon the circumstances of an individual case. Certain reporting requirements were added in 2016 as well. See Utah Code Section 58-37-8 and surrounding sections; seek advice of legal counsel.
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