WASHINGTON CITY — Two men and one woman were arrested Tuesday after members of the Washington City Police Department found them in possession of a wide variety of drugs during a traffic stop.
While on patrol Tuesday at 8:06 p.m., Washington City Police Officer Chandler Prince saw a vehicle with three people in it parked outside of a known drug house, we wrote in probable cause statements supporting the arrests. Once it left, he followed the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop after the driver failed to signal while making a left-hand turn.
Upon speaking with the occupants of the car, Prince identified the driver as Steven Nelson of Las Vegas, Nevada, and the two passengers as St. George residents Shelby Layne Bess and William Owen, the statements said. Upon running their information, Prince found that Nelson’s driver’s license had been revoked.
While speaking with Nelson outside the car, Prince performed a Terry frisk, he said; that is, a quick pat-down on reasonable suspicion the person may be armed and dangerous.
“I asked Steven if I could search his pockets and he denied consent,” Prince said in his probable cause statement. “I felt a large bulge in his left pocket. No weapons were found on Steven at that time.”
Prince also said in the statement that he saw a plastic tube containing suspected marijuana located on the front passenger seat next to Bess’ left leg. Upon searching the vehicle, the officer’s suspicions were confirmed.
“There was marijuana in the tube and the tube had another compartment which held multi-colored water balloons,” Prince said in the statement. “I then found a scale in a box in the center console of the vehicle.”
The scale was also discovered to have heroin residue on it, Prince said in the statement.
Further search of the vehicle also yielded results. According to the statement, Prince discovered a broken methamphetamine pipe containing a testable amount of methamphetamine, along with both heroin and marijuana paraphernalia in the passenger-side compartment and the backseat of the vehicle. A marijuana grinder was also located in the trunk of the vehicle along with containers to store marijuana in.
During the officer’s search of the three occupants, he found Stevens in possession of two oxycodone pills, Prince said in the statement. One pill was located in Steven’s pants pocket and another under the insole of his left shoe.
It was also determined that the home Prince originally located the vehicle at was within 1,000 feet of the Washington City Community Center, the statement said. Because of this, all drug charges against them were enhanced due to them being within a drug-free zone. All three were placed under arrest and transported to Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
After arriving at the facility, Prince said in the statement, Nelson was taken out of his handcuffs and searched again. During this search, officers found a sandwich-sized baggie half-full of heroin and methamphetamine, more than what is considered a personal-use amount.
Nelson is charged with two first-degree felonies for possession of methamphetamine and heroin with intent to distribute; a second-degree felony for possession of oxycodone; a third-degree felony for possession of marijuana; a class A misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia; and two class C misdemeanors for failure to signal and driving on a revoked license. His bail for release is set at $51,310.
The two passengers in the car are also having criminal charges brought against them.
Bess is charged with two second-degree felonies for possession of heroin and methamphetamine and two class A misdemeanors for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Her bail for release was originally listed at $22,323, and reduced to $10,000 by District Judge G. Michael Westfall.
Owen is charged with one second-degree felony for possession of methamphetamine and two class A misdemeanors for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. His bail for release is set at $7,721.
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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