ST. GEORGE — When authorities moved in to arrest four men – including two Utah men – on drug trafficking charges in Mesquite, Nevada, the men were reportedly caught in the act of forcing two females to conduct sexual acts for money.
Over the past several months, police had been conducting an investigation into four alleged drug dealers who had reportedly been working together to traffic and sell heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine from a Mesquite residence, according to a statement issued Monday by the Mesquite Police Department.
On Jan. 26, officials concluded their investigation and moved in on the residence to take the four suspects into custody, according to the police statement.
“When the police officers moved in and made contact with the suspects,” Mesquite Police officials said, “they learned these suspects were in the act of forcing two females to conduct sexual acts for money, while actively selling illegal drugs from within their residence.”
Police were able to safely remove both females, whose ages have not been released, from the residence while taking the four suspects into custody, officials said.
The following suspects have been formally charged in connection with the investigation:
Shauntory Watson, 38, of Ogden, was charged with three felony counts of sexual assault, one felony count of coercion, two felony counts of conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substance Act, two felony counts of selling meth, one felony count of possession of cocaine, and one felony count of heroin possession.
Ronnie Baham, 52, of St. George, was charged with one felony count of selling meth and one felony count of conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substance Act.
Robert William Howick, 53, of Mesquite, was charged with one felony count of battery with substantial bodily harm.
Ashton Mcdonald, 25, of Littlefield, Arizona, was charged with one felony count of selling heroin and one felony count of conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substance Act.
As the investigation into the incident is ongoing, police said additional charges may be forthcoming.
“Mesquite detectives are still actively investigating and reviewing evidence obtained from the crime scene,” officials said. “Additional criminal charges are pending once the investigation is completed.”
Due to the felony charges, police said the men were transported and booked into the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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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