Retail theft leads to felony drug bust

LAVERKIN – The LaVerkin City Police and deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office arrested a LaVerkin man Wednesday for felony drug possession and distribution.

Joshua Scott Christensen of La Verkin, Utah | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s booking, St. George News
Joshua Scott Christensen of LaVerkin, Utah | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s booking, St. George News

Joshua Scott Christensen, 20, was arrested and charged with three second-degree felonies for drug possession and distribution, one third-degree felony for drug possession and distribution, one class-B misdemeanor for drug paraphernalia, and one class-B misdemeanor for retail theft.

According to the probable cause statement filed in connection with the arrest, LaVerkin City Police and deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a shoplifting at Farmer’s Market in LaVerkin on May 16. Two males were identified as suspects – Kolton Wirthlin, 19, and Christensen.

While officers were attempting to locate Christensen at his residence, 240 W. 530 North in LaVerkin, they noticed a motor home parked in the backyard with people inside – Jered Mintz, 21, and J.B. Christensen, 35 – and detected “the overwhelming smell of raw marijuana,” according to the statement.

While officers conducted a security sweep of the motor home in an attempt to locate Christensen, multiple drug paraphernalia items were observed, including scales and packaging commonly used in drug distribution.

Officers obtained a signed consent to search the motor home and a written statement from Christensen’s mother, which stated that Christensen and Wirthlin had been staying inside the motor home for the past two or three months.

Officers then obtained a search warrant for two lock-boxes found in the motor home. Inside the first lock-box, officers found suspected marijuana – which subsequent marijuana leaf testing confirmed to be marijuana – along with unused needles, baggies and jewelry items.

Inside the second lock-box, officers located $1,380 in cash, baggies, balloons and tinfoil balls, which subsequent FIDO testing confirmed to be heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.

Both Mintz and J.B. Christensen implicated Wirthlin and Joshua Christensen in the distribution of these illegal substances.

On May 21, authorities arrested Joshua Christensen as he was walking from the motor home. Christensen admitted to knowing about the cash, drugs, drug paraphernalia and drug distribution, according to the probable cause statement.

Christensen was booked into Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility. According to booking information, his bail stands at $43,970.

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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1 Comment

  • Jackie Banks July 11, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Yes I’m the mother of Joshua Christensen. I was just wanting to know what they are doing with koltin? Or how I can find out any info about him. My son is sitting in jail taking care of his part but koltin I don’t believe that anything has happened to him. Any help on finding this stuff out would be a big help thank you.

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