Man on probation for drug conviction faces 8 new felonies

Photo by Nikolay Peev | Getty Images, St. George/Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY – A 5th District Judge has appointed a public defender to a Cedar City man facing eight felony charges involving the possession of stolen credit cards and multiple identity documents.

Judge Keith C. Barnes appointed defense attorney Joseph Farnsworth to Aaron Tipler, 25, during the defendant’s initial appearance Friday.

Tipler, who was arrested June 27, is facing four counts of unlawful possession or transfer of a credit card and four counts of obtaining or assisting to obtain multiple identifying documents of another – all third-degree felonies. In addition, he was arrested for one count of theft, a class B misdemeanor.

Friday’s charges stem from a previous incident on June 2 when Iron County Sheriff’s deputies pulled Tipler over on information he was transporting drugs from Las Vegas, Nevada.

A search of the vehicle Tipler was driving at the time uncovered not only methamphetamines and heroin but also several credit cards and identity documents including social security numbers, a marriage certificate, a Utah identification card, a Texas driver’s license – all belonging to four different victims.

Tipler was arrested and charged in that incident with two counts of possession or use of a controlled substance, class A misdemeanors, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor, and driving on a denied license, a class C misdemeanor.

However, at that time, deputies held off filing any charges for the alleged stolen credit cards and identity documents found in the vehicle until June 27 following a further investigation.

According to charging documents filed with 5th District Court, Deputy Devin Lauritzen contacted two of the four alleged victims to verify Tipler did not have permission to have the items in his possession.

Court documents state Tipler allegedly told Lauritzen during a recorded interview a family member had stolen the items but gave them to him, asking Tipler use them to “gain access with them.”

“He stated in his recorded interview he knew these items were stolen and still took possession of them,” Lauritzen wrote in the documents.

Tipler accepted a plea agreement June 8 for the original drug charges he was arrested for June 2 in which the Iron County Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss the class B and C misdemeanors in exchange for Tipler pleading guilty to the two class A misdemeanors.

Barnes handed out a stayed jail sentence of 30 days and placed Tipler on probation. He was also ordered to obey all laws and pay a $750 fine.

In between the time Tipler was convicted June 8 for drugs and arrested again June 27 for the felony charges, court documents state he was also allegedly charged June 24 with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a class B misdemeanor.

The court record shows Tipler’s probation officer filed a request for an order to show cause Friday in 5th District Court on allegations the defendant had violated the terms of his probation with the DUI charge and failure to make payments towards his fine. Nothing in the request mentioned the new felony charges.

A record search Friday for the DUI charges filed against Tipler by Cedar City News were not immediately available. The order to show cause request listed an assigned case number to the charges, however that also failed to pull up anything in a search.

Timeline

June 2 – Pulled over and arrested for drug charges on a tip that the suspect was transporting drugs from Las Vegas – credit cards and identity documents were allegedly found in the vehicle then but no charges were filed for these at that time.

June 8 – Pleaded guilty for the drug charges under a plea agreement where two other charges were dismissed.

June 24 – Allegedly arrested and charged with DUI – Court records do not show this charge as of press time.

June 27 – Arrested and charged for the alleged stolen credit cards and identity documents.

July 3 – Initial appearance on the felony charges for the credit cards and identity documents, public defender appointed.

July 3 – Probation Officer filed request for order to show cause for the DUI charge on June 24.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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