ST. GEORGE – The search of a Bloomington home in St. George earlier this week by the Washington County Drug Task Force led to the arrest of an alleged drug dealer and his girlfriend.
Late Sunday evening, the county task force executed a search warrant at a residence on South Bloomington Drive West, according to court documents.
Task force agents entered the home and made contact with the homeowner, who was subsequently taken outside. They then came to the top of a set of stairs leading into the basement and held their position while shouting at the occupants in the basement to come upstairs while keeping their hands visible.
Two people exited the basement after a few moments, but another person remained in the basement.
“A short while later, a second male emerged from the basement,” one of the task force agents wrote in a probable cause statement written in support of the arrests.
The man was identified as 34-year-old Kasey L. Hassell, of St. George.
“Immediately detectives noted this male … to be wet from his hands and his pants in the area of his pockets,” the agent wrote.
Hassell and the others were taken outside and placed in handcuffs near where the rest of the home’s occupants were gathered. In all, eight people were removed from the home, including two juveniles.
The group was then interviewed one-by-one.
Hassell was interviewed first and allegedly told agents that what they were going to find belonged to him.
“He admitted to actively selling methamphetamine and marijuana,” the agent wrote in the statement. “He also indicated that there would be baggies and a scale found in the bedroom.”
Both Hassell and his girlfriend, Michelle M. Lees, who was at the residence when the task force arrived, identified a bedroom in the basement as theirs. Lees told agents that Hassell was staying at the residence with her and her family.
As the agents went through the bedroom, they allegedly found baggies containing what was suspected to be methamphetamine and marijuana.
“Just before transporting Kasey to the Washington County Jail, he admitted to flushing drugs down the toilet in an attempt to conceal them from detectives,” the agent wrote, adding that this explained why Hassell’s hands and pants were wet.
Additional baggies of methamphetamine, empty baggies, a scale and various pieces of drug paraphernalia were also found in the bedroom, according to the probable cause statement.
“Due to the admissions of Kasey, who admitted that he distributes methamphetamine and marijuana, coupled with the quantity of methamphetamine, baggies, and scale found inside Kasey and Michelle’s bedroom, both were charged with its contents,” the arresting agent wrote.
Hassell and Lees were arrested and booked into Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
Hassell has been charged with two felonies related to drug possession with intent to distribute, as well as misdemeanors for tampering with evidence and possessing drug paraphernalia. He is currently still held at the county jail with bail set at $25,000, according to court records.
Lees has been charged with a felony offense of drug possession with intent to distribute, as well as misdemeanors for drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Lees has since been released on bail.
The two originally faced additional charges upon their arrest that have since been dropped following a review of the charges by the Washington County Attorney’s Office.
Hassell and Lees have each made initial appearances in 5th District Court. Subsequent court appearances are scheduled for next week.
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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