Washington County residents among those arrested on drug charges in Mesquite

Mesquite Police Department vehicle, Mesquite, Nev., Aug. 9, 2016 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two traffic stops in Mesquite, Nevada, yielded a substantial amount of methamphetamine and heroin and the arrests of four individuals from Utah, including two from Washington County, highlighting the crucial role the police department’s K-9 unit plays in stemming the illegal drug trade.

Kade Hammer, of Washington City, booking photo posted Jan. 18, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Mesquite Police Department, St. George News

On Jan. 18 shortly before 8:30 p.m., a Mesquite Police officer stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation and while speaking with the driver noticed indications of potential illegal drug activity, according to a statement released by Quinn Averett, Mesquite Police Department’s public information officer.

The two individuals inside of the vehicle were later identified as Kade Hammer, 43, of Washington City, and 23-year-old Hunter Winn of St. George.

After speaking with the driver, another officer deployed his K-9 counterpart, and while circling the outside of the vehicle the dog alerted to the presence of drugs inside of the car.

During a subsequent search of the vehicle, authorities located crystal methamphetamine and heroin on the two occupants inside of the car, along with drug paraphernalia, giving officers reason to believe the pair were trafficking the drugs, according to the statement.

The two were arrested and transported to the Mesquite Jail.

Hunter Winn, of St. George, booking photo posted Jan. 18, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Mesquite Police Department, St. George News

Hammer and Winn were booked into jail, each facing two felony counts of drug trafficking, one for the methamphetamine and one for heroin, along with a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Five days earlier, an officer stopped a vehicle for running a red light and deployed another of the department’s K-9 officers.

While circling the outside of the vehicle, the dog alerted to the presence of drugs inside. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, authorities located black tar heroin and “trafficking amounts of crystal methamphetamine,” the statement read.

Two suspects, Brian Johnson and Letitia Hock, were arrested.

Johnson, 47, of Taylorsville, is facing one felony count of trafficking a controlled substance, methamphetamine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Hock, 38, of Salt Lake City, faces one felony count of possession of a controlled substance, heroin, and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Mesquite Police Department’s K-9 Noro, 2-year-old Belgian Malinois born in Norway, Mesquite, Nev., Jan. 24, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Mesquite Police Department, St. George News

Averett said the K-9 unit’s assistance enhances the safety of the officers and of the suspects as well.

“Our drug dogs are always working and we don’t mention that enough,” he added.

The Mesquite Police Department K-9 unit deals in narcotics detection, as well as search and apprehension of offenders, and was established with the goal of curbing the flow of drugs, particularly methamphetamine, into and through the state.

One of the department’s newest four-legged crime fighters,  K-9 Marley, is a 2-year-old Labrador retriever, which the department purchased in June from Pacific Coast K9 in Custer, Washington, and will serve as the department’s second certified police dog.

The newest recruit joined Noro, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois born in Norway where the animal was purchased from Adlerhorst International, which has provided police service dogs to more than 500 agencies in the U.S. and internationally for more than 40 years.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders 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, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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  • ladybugavenger January 24, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    This is a confusing article. Two different events, and an introduction to k9 noro.

    Example of confusion:

    “The two men were arrested and transported to the Mesquite Jail.”

    Hunter and Kade are a female and male- not 2 men.

  • Caveat_Emptor January 25, 2018 at 9:00 am

    It is encouraging to see the Mesquite PD sweeping up these Utah folks, who undoubtedly were operating here in their home state as well.
    The takeaway seems similar to the numerous guys/ladies caught along I-15 with distributor-quantity illegal drugs: something as simple as a traffic stop can turn into a vehicle search. So, whether on the Interstate or local roads, if you obey all traffic rules, drive conservatively, and make sure: all your lights are functioning and body panels are in tact, you are unlikely to get stopped by LEOs.

  • SteveSGU January 25, 2018 at 9:26 am

    The name of the city is Washington, not Washington City, despite the usage of the City of Washington. Every long-term resident will tell you, and so will the Post Office.

    • Redbud January 26, 2018 at 4:27 am

      Steve, it is Washington City. You can write to this address for more information (as taken off the Washington City website)

      Washington City
      111 North 100 East
      Washington City, UT 84780

      Also, you should not have capitalized post office in your sentence.
      Before you get too confused with anything else around here, it’s also not “HURR’ eh KUN”, it’s Hurricane.

      • muthafcknstarboy February 2, 2018 at 10:07 pm

        Born & raised here in St. George. It’s definitely “HURR’ eh KUN”.
        Heh heh.

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