IRON COUNTY – A Salt Lake City man was arrested on multiple drug possession and credit card theft charges in Iron County Saturday night after a Utah Highway Patrol trooper found him walking on Interstate 15.
At about 8 p.m., UHP Trooper Adam Gibbs was traveling north on I-15 when he noticed a man walking on the side of the interstate. He pulled over to explain to the man that pedestrians were not allowed to be there, he said.
The man informed Gibbs that he was walking to Beaver to catch a ride, and there was no way to get on the other side of the fence that separated the busy thoroughfare from town, Gibbs said.
Gibbs said he offered the man a ride to Beaver so he wouldn’t have to walk the entire way.
The trooper asked if he could search the man’s backpack before he got into the patrol car.
“For my safety, I asked if I could search him and verify that he didn’t have any weapons,” Gibbs said, “and he gave consent. So I searched it, and I found some meth on him and some credit cards that were stolen and then some blank checks.”
In addition to the methamphetamine, stolen cards and blank checks, Gibbs said, he also found a marijuana pipe and marijuana.
“When I interviewed him, he had told me that other people had given him the credit cards,” Gibbs said, “but he knew they were stolen. … He told me that they were given to him because he was dealing meth up in Salt Lake, and so people would give them to him.”
The man, identified as Ikaaka Kaheaku, 42, was arrested and charged with four third-degree felonies: one for possession of a controlled substance and three for illegal possession of financial transaction cards. He was additionally charged with a class A misdemeanor for possession of marijuana and a class B misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Kaheaku informed the trooper that he was homeless in Salt Lake City, Gibbs said, and that he would buy enough meth to sell to other addicts so he could afford to keep up with his own habit.
“So, basically, he buys enough to get himself high and sells enough to make sure he has enough to cover his costs for the meth,” Gibbs said.
Sometimes, when someone admits to distribution of a controlled substance, law enforcement follows up with an investigation in hopes of eradicating the dealer. However, there is no plan to investigate Kaheaku’s source for the drugs, Gibbs said, because there is nothing leading to a single source for law enforcement to follow up on.
“He gets it from whoever he can – he doesn’t have just one source,” Gibbs said, explaining what Kaheaku told him during his interview, “and then he sells it to all the homeless people on the Jordan River Parkway.”
Kaheaku was booked into the Iron County Jail at 10 p.m. Saturday. As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, it was unknown if he was still incarcerated, officials at the jail said, because the computers were in the process of being worked on and there was no way to check the inmate’s name in the system.
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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