ST. GEORGE – A portion of lawn and sidewalk in front of the Desert Rose Apartment complex in St. George was cordoned off by yellow tape Friday afternoon as law enforcement officers went through a residence and brought out multiple containers of alleged narcotics and associated paraphernalia.
Earlier that morning, a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy was serving court papers at an apartment at 2929 E. 450 North, sheriff’s Sgt. Jared Parry said. At the time the deputy serving the papers smelled possible marijuana coming from somewhere within the apartment. A search warrant was obtained and the apartment was subsequently searched.
“They got there and saw indicators of marijuana and mushrooms,” Parry said. “At that point the Washington County Drug Task Force was contacted and we’ve been here ever since helping to process the scene.”
Members of the task force were called in around noon and were joined by Drug Enforcement Administration agents.
A makeshift processing center was set up outside of the apartment complex as task force members in hazmat suits went in and brought out totes, mason jars, and other items and set them on or by tables waiting to be examined and cataloged.
“What there are, are containers of mushrooms,” Parry said. “I know there are finished product; there are some being grown; so there’s multiple stages of the process going on.”
As of 4 p.m., three people had been detained and were being questioned by law enforcement, Parry said. At that time no one had been arrested, though any charges brought may be enhanced due to the location being near Pine View High School. Anywhere within 1,000 feet of a school is typically considered a drug-free zone.
So far no weapons had been found in the apartment, Parry said, though the task force was still going though the apartment.
A hazardous materials team had been contacted to come and claim the drugs found by the deputies, but had yet to arrive from out of town.
The Southwest Utah Public Health Department had also been contacted to determine if there are any potential health risks lingering in the searched apartment.
Task force members and DEA agents were still going through the apartment and began to set up portable lights in case they remained at the scene after the sun went down.
At 5:45 p.m. task force members and DEA agents were still on scene.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement representatives on scene and may not contain the full scope of findings. Any persons allegedly involved are considered innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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