ST. GEORGE – St. George Police arrested 22-year-old Cedric Dezarae Morin Wednesday in connection with the alleged drug overdose of six individuals, ranging from 17-23 years of age, who ended up in the hospital Dec. 6 following a party the previous night.
On Dec. 6, officers responded to the Rebel’s Roost Apartments, an off-campus housing complex that caters to Dixie State University students, located at 83 S. 1000 East in St. George, on a report of a drug overdose, St. George Police Officer David Slack said in his probable cause statement supporting Morin’s arrest. (See ed. note below.)
“Three females were located in the apartment and displayed varied levels of impairment,” Slack said in the statement. “All females had vomited and were unsteady. Through an initial investigation it was determined that a THC substance was consumed in apartment #5.”
Contact was made with one of the residents, who allowed officers into the apartment, Slack said.
“A fork and plastic containers were located in the kitchen that had a dark brown sticky residue that smelled consistent with marijuana,” the statement said.
Officers also detected an odor consistent with marijuana coming from one of the bedrooms, Slack said in the statement, and a warrant was written, approved and served on the room.
“I searched the room and located a small plastic container with a dark brown sticky substance that emitted an odor consistent with marijuana,” Slack said. “The container was located in the main pocket of a suitcase at the back of the closet.”
A luggage tag on the suitcase identified it as belonging to Morin, and there were several other items with Morin’s name on them, the statement said.
A prescription pill bottle allegedly containing acetaminophen and oxycodone was also found in the suitcase, Slack said.
In all, six individuals – males and females – in the housing complex were either unresponsive or very sick and vomiting, St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said. Two of the individuals were transported by ambulance to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Despain said, and four others were transported by private vehicle to the emergency room.
“All with the same symptoms of being sick and vomiting,” Despain said, “and all were suspected of ingesting what we believe to be this hash oil that caused them to be sick.”
On Dec. 10, Morin responded to the St. George Police Department and agreed to speak with Slack.
Slack wrote in the probable cause statement:
(Morin) stated the cannabis oil was his and he had a prescription for it from CA. (Morin) stated he was aware that the prescription is not valid in UT. (Morin) stated he did not supply the oil to any but it was taken from his closet and used without his knowledge. I asked (Morin) about the pills and he stated he had a prescription for them from a long time ago.
Morin was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility. He was charged with two second-degree felonies for possession of hash oil and prescription pills and a class A misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia.
All possession charges were enhanced due to the proximity of Dixie State University and Dixie Applied Technology College. Morin’s initial bail was set at $21,950.
Morin made his initial appearance in 5th District Court on Dec. 11, where Judge G. Michael Westfall reduced his bail amount to $12,000, according to court documents. The court also determined Morin to be indigent and appointed Douglas D. Terry as his counsel.
Though Morin’s bail was eventually cleared by judicial order for $10,000, he remains in custody, according to booking information. His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
Ed. note: Views on the safety and possible side effects of marijuana vary. Full analysis of alternate views and medical studies is beyond the scope of this report.
Ed. note Dec. 29: CLARIFICATION made – the Rebel’s Roost Apartments are privately owned and cater to Dixie State University students; on initial publish the sentence characterized them as a Dixie State University off-campus housing complex which could imply the university owns and operates them, which it does not.
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