ST. GEORGE — An Ivins woman is facing multiple felonies after authorities say she entered a police station with heroin in her pocket and a subsequent search of her home yielded additional illicit substances.
Kassandra Dittmer, 31, arrived at the police station in Santa Clara Tuesday to speak with officers about a previous incident and obtain a copy of a report, completely unaware that police had a search warrant for her home and her person, Santa Clara-Ivins Police Sgt. Jaron Studley said.
“We had been working on that residence for months and had finally gotten the search warrants when, out of the blue, she walked into the police station to talk about a completely unrelated issue,” Studley said.
When police told Dittmer they had the search warrant and that she was being detained, Studley said she began yelling and screaming. As she was being searched, he said Dittmer “blurted out she had heroin in her pocket,” which officers found along with syringes and other paraphernalia.
Studley said she resisted officers a number of times before she was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane for the initial drug and paraphernalia offenses.
Meanwhile, several officers executed the search warrant on Dittmer’s residence in Ivins. At the time, two men were inside the home, one who said he lived there and another who said he “stays at the residence from time to time,” investigators wrote in the probable cause statement filed in support of Dittmer’s arrest.
While searching Dittmer’s bedroom, officers allegedly found pills that were determined to be controlled substances but were not in a prescription bottle, as well as a safe containing what appeared to be heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana, along with scales and empty plastic baggies.
Officers then entered the bedroom of one of the men, who Studley said was lying on top of a safe inside the room. He was ordered out of the room, and a search of the safe allegedly yielded heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana.
The man whose room was being searched was outside being treated by paramedics that responded after he complained of chest pains and shortness of breath, and he was subsequently transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment. Charges against the man are pending, Studley said.
In addition to the charges on which Dittmer was initially booked into jail, charges submitted to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review subsequent to the search of the residence include several felony counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
She also faces misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, interfering with an arresting officer, failing to keep a controlled substance in its original container and public nuisance.
Studley said the nuisance charge was added due to Dittmer being aware that illicit drugs found in the residence were being used by “multiple, multiple people.” Since she allowed the illicit activity to continue, he said, she was creating a public nuisance.
Under Utah law, a nuisance is anything that interferes with the “comfortable enjoyment of life or property” or is indecent or offensive, including drug houses, drug dealing and any criminal activity committed “in concert with with two or more persons.”
Studley said neighbors and bystanders cheered when officers arrived at the home to serve the search warrant, which is one of the reasons the nuisance charge was added. In addition, he said the number of drug-related calls have gone down significantly since Dittmer’s arrest.
Dittmer remains in custody on $25,680 bail.
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