ST. GEORGE — Garfield County deputies seized 27 firearms and arrested one man Thursday after receiving reports that a man was chasing off Airbnb guests with a shotgun.
According to a probable cause statement written by Garfield County Sheriff Deputy Malcolm Oldham in support of the arrest, deputies were dispatched on Sept. 13 to Hatch on a report of a possible threat.
Oldham called the reporting party, who told him that his neighbor Michael Rudolph, 69, was constantly bothering his Airbnb customers, according to the statement.
Garfield County Sheriff Danny Perkins told St. George News that the issue has been going on for a little while and they have had a few reports of Rudolph “chasing people off with his shotgun.”
“The original call was that people would pull up into his driveway thinking that he was the Airbnb and so he would run them off with his shotgun,” Perkins said.
According to the statement, Rudolph told Oldham that he meets some of the guests when they trespass on his property with a shotgun. He also stated that he and his family were shooting guns earlier that day. Rudolph was reported as being agitated about the situation.
Oldham left the home and made a case number.
The next day on Monday, Oldham received another call from the reporting party, who stated Rudolph had called him and was very upset about the police being at his home and that if any of his guests were on Rudolph’s property they would be met with a shotgun.
After running a background check, Oldham found that Rudolph had been convicted of two felony charges in 1983 and spent time in a California State Prison for narcotics and equipment, according to the statement.
Deputies then obtained a search warrant for the home of Rudolph. On Thursday at approximately 5:50 p.m., deputies went to Rudolph’s home and served the search warrant.
The statement said there were 27 different firearms found at the property.
“There were some handguns, some hunting rifles and there was one or two assault-weapon type guns,” Perkins said.
Deputies also found four individually wrapped bags of a green, leafy-like substance consistent to marijuana totaling 137.5 grams or 4.85 ounces. In addition, they found a vacuum seal machine and a large amount of bags used for the vacuum seal machine, two containers with substances consistent to marijuana and a glass pipe used to smoke marijuana.
At 5:55 p.m., Rudolph was taken into custody.
Rudolph was booked into the Garfield County Jail on $143,730 bail and was charged with 27 third-degree felonies for possession of a firearm by a restricted person. He was also charged with several counts of possession of paraphernalia and distribution of marijuana.
Denise Dastrup, public information officer for the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, told St. George News that Rudolph was bailed out of jail on Friday by a family member.
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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