LaVerkin man faces multiple felonies following drug task force investigation

Stock image | Photo by Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A LaVerkin man faces multiple drug-related felonies following an investigation by the Washington County Drug Task Force.

Junichi L. Yasuda, 39, was pulled over on Old Highway 91 in Ivins Wednesday, according to a probable cause statement.

The traffic stop was initiated by a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy at the request of a drug task force investigator. Yasuda was the only occupant of the car, which was searched following the issuance of narcotics search warrant.

“During the search, a black tar substance was located in the center console area (of the car),” according to the probable statement. “The substance was field tested with the Detectachem and the results were presumptive positive for heroin.”

Yasuda told the deputy he had a “B” of heroin in the console of the car.

Yasuda was taken into custody and transported to the Purgatory Correctional Facility without incident. He was charged with a third-degree felony for drug possession that was enhanced due to having prior criminal convictions.

Junichi Yasuda booking photo, June 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The arrest also happened while Yasuda was either on probation or parole, according to the probable cause statement.

Within the last 180 days prior to Yasuda’s arrest, the Washington County Drug Task Force conducted a series of undercover, controlled drug buys allegedly involving Yasuda and a confidential informant.

Those incidents resulted in four second-degree felonies for the arranged distribution of a controlled substance that investigators allege to be heroin.

According to court records, Yasuda faces an additional second-degree felony and multiple misdemeanor charges out of Washington City related to theft by receiving stolen property and drug possession.

The Washington County Drug Task Force is composed of law enforcement officers from multiple agencies within Washington County and will often spending several months investigating suspected individuals before an arrest is made.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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