Search of Dixie State dorms during drug task force operation results in arrests, citations

January 2017 file photo depicts a patrol vehicle in front of the Dixie State University Campus Police Department, Jan. 28, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — More information came to light Monday regarding the massive police response that advanced on Dixie State University’s Nisson Towers Friday night.

According to an official statement released Monday by Dixie State University, the action was part of a Washington County Drug Task Force operation and involved more than just Nisson Towers.

Read more: More than 20 officers respond to DSU student housing complex.

More than 20 officers and six K-9 units were called in from multiple agencies across Washington County to participate in the task force operation that began at 9 p.m. Friday, Jyl Hall, director of public relations for DSU, said in a statement released to St. George News Monday.

Officers from Dixie State University’s Department of Public Safety, Washington County, St. George, Hurricane and Washington City responded to the task force operation along with six narcotics K-9’s that were brought in to assist.

After the K-9’s were deployed and searched all campus housing facilities, “arrests were made, citations were issued and one individual was taken into custody,” Hall said in the statement.

The statement also stated that Nisson Towers was only one of seven facilities searched during the three-hour operation.

Hall went on to say that the university and Dixie State University’s Department of Public Safety “are committed to providing quick and effective responses to all criminal activity, and appreciates the continued commitment of all Washington County agencies to work together to ensure the safety of our campus and community.”

This report is based on information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings. 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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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • NickDanger October 31, 2017 at 10:25 am

    You know, I’m all for police doing their jobs and catching drug dealers. But what is this?

    ALL campus housing was searched by drug dogs? Is this a prison or a university?

    This seems like unreasonable search and seizure to me. Okay they found some drugs – probably some marijuana, college kids are going to smoke marijuana and, as 40+ years of failed Drug War will tell you, there’s nothing Law Enforcement can do about it. But the point is, whatever reasonable suspicion the police may have had that there were drugs in the DSU dormitories certainly couldn’t apply to every room in every dormitory.

    This seems illegal. I guess that will come out in court if that’s the case. It’s highly intrusive in any event, and I do not approve of treating college students as if they have no civil rights; they’re not convicted felons and this little shakedown here sends a very questionable message.

  • Rainbow Dash October 31, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Ahh the “War” on Drugs….just one of many millions of FAILED and COSTLY conservative policies that have been passed over the years.

    Unless they searched their person, the search was more than likely legal unless they searched their person prior to finding something else in the room.

    There is New Jersey vs. T.L.O in which Justice White delivered the majority. From that decision:

    Mr. Choplick asked T. L. O. to come into his private office and demanded to see her purse. Opening the purse, he found a pack of cigarettes, which he removed from the purse and held before T. L. O. as he accused her of having lied to him. As he reached into the purse for the cigarettes, Mr. Choplick also noticed a package of cigarette rolling papers. In his experience, possession of rolling papers by high school students was closely associated with the use of marihuana. Suspecting that a closer examination of the purse might yield further evidence of drug use, Mr. Choplick proceeded to search the purse thoroughly. The search revealed a small amount of marihuana, a pipe, a number of empty plastic bags, a substantial quantity of money in one-dollar bills, an index card that appeared to be a list of students who owed T. L. O. money, and two letters that implicated T. L. O. in marihuana dealing.

    Ruling against T.L.O Justice White wrote in part:

    “Our consideration of the proper application of the Fourth Amendment to the public schools, however, has led us to conclude that the search that gave rise to the case now before us did not violate the Fourth Amendment.”

    • Rainbow Dash October 31, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      keep in mind that I’m not arguing for the government here… I think the war on drugs is an abysmal failure and that all drug should be legal. I think there are far more benefits to making drugs legal and taxable than there is under the current policies.

      • dak4 October 31, 2017 at 4:53 pm

        So you’re not arguing in support of the government, but you want the government to make a profit as a result of people’s addictions? Sounds well thought out and ethical. Legalization is a terrible idea and will only allow our nation to spiral out of control faster than it already is.

        • Rainbow Dash November 1, 2017 at 12:16 pm

          “…you want the government to make a profit as a result of people’s addictions?”
          Quite frankly, Dak, Those who want to do drugs will always find a way to get them, legal or not. My feeling is that if drugs were legalized, regulated/taxed, and sold in shops and dispensaries like Marijuana is in Colorado and other states, that most drug addicts would get their drug of choice from there versus some random drug pusher on the corner. I don’t know about you but I would rather their money go to taxes that pay for things like education, healthcare, roads, parks, etc that directly and indirectly benefit our society as a whole versus the other option.

  • Mesquite October 31, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    There has been a nice slow continual erosion of our civil right by the courts and the government going on for decades. It was put on a much faster pace by the “Patriot Act”. For instance, if a drug dog alerts on your car, the SCOTUS has ruled that that provides the LEO with probable cause to search your car. Now any third grader that reads the 4th Amendment could tell you that it states that probable cause is needed to get a search warrant, not to actually conduct a search. And of course, the only academic study ever made of the ability of dogs trained to locate drugs proved that they are completely ineffective and actually respond to signals from the handler. This gives the power laid out in the Constitution to approve searches (Magistrates and Judges) to every cop on the street with a dog. Where the courts used to regularly throw out criminal cases when the authorities did an unconstitutional search, they now regularly allow the fruits of those searches into evidence. And it is our fault, folks. Since we keep electing the same politicians year after year, it will never change.

    • dak4 October 31, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      It’s true that k9s can be cued to alert by their handler. That’s why you conduct blind training where someone else hides your training aid so you as the handler can’t cue the dog because you don’t know where it’s at. This includes training where no drugs have been hidden without knowing that going in. Additionally, extensive training and deployment records, which can be subpoenaed, are kept to ensure the k9s accuracy. Most dogs are 80 to 95 percent accurate. Also, when it comes to vehicles, or student housing since it’s owned by the University and deemed a drug free zone, there is a lessened expectation of privacy. Pretty simple, don’t do drugs and you’ll be fine.

  • comments October 31, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    In America you have no real protection against unfair search and seizure. You also have no real right to privacy

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