Drug task force arrests 2 after discovery of heroin, cocaine

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

CEDAR CITY — Two people were arrested Tuesday by the Narcotics Task Force for Iron, Garfield and Beaver counties after agents received information leading to the discovery of heroin and cocaine.

Mackenzie Draughn booking photo, Iron County Jail, June 25, 2020 | Photo by courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St George News / Cedar City News

Joshua Michael Ward and Mackenzie Alexis Draughn were arrested by task force agents and charged with two counts of second-degree felony knowingly producing, dispensing or manufacturing a controlled substance and one class B misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. (See Ed. note)

Task Force Commander Jeff Malcom told Cedar City News that agents were investigating a house where Ward and Draughn were known to be staying and received information that the two were going to obtain heroin to transport to Ohio.

“Agents received information that they were in the area with a lot of drugs, and surveillance was set up on the house,” Malcom said.

According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrests, agents watched a vehicle leave the house driven by Wallace Limb, “a long time drug user who is currently on probation.” The passengers in the vehicle were confirmed to be Ward and Draughn.

Agents followed the vehicle to the Super 8 Motel by Interstate 15 Exit 59, where Draughn got out of the vehicle and entered the hotel. The task force officer wrote in the statement that at this point, Ward and Limb seemed to notice the agents and pulled into the parking lot of a nearby gas station convenience store.

Joshua Ward booking photo, Iron County Jail, June 25, 2020 | Photo by courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St George News / Cedar City News

Ward “jumped out of the car carrying a large black backpack,” the officer wrote, adding that agents shouted for Ward to stop but he “kept walking and started going in the store when Agents caught up to him and walked him back outside.”

Ward reportedly told agents he didn’t have anything illegal on him and that the backpack didn’t belong to him. At this point, Draughn walked over to agents and said the backpack wasn’t hers either, as did Limb.

“No one was claiming the backpack so the backpack was considered abandoned and was searched for any identifiers,” the officer wrote.

Inside the pack, agents discovered “many used syringes with a black tarry substance, as well as small baggies commonly used with drug distribution.”

In addition, heroin and cocaine were also allegedly found in the backpack, as well as a small scale with heroin residue.

After interviewing Ward and Draughn, which included a consent search of their phones, it was determined they were involved in drug trafficking, the officer wrote.

Malcom told Cedar City News the pair also had warrants for their arrests out of Ohio and said the arresting agent put a lot of work into the investigation.

“It was a really good job on behalf of that agent, for taking that information and following up on it,” he said. “He spent a lot of time to build a good case on this.”

Draughn and Ward were booked into the Iron County Jail on Tuesday. Draughn’s bail was set to $40,000 for all three charges; bail has not been set for Ward. Limb was detained and turned over to Adult Probation and Parole.

This report is based on statements from police 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.

Ed. note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly featured another suspect on the main featured image.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!