Great-grandmother arrested for allegedly dealing meth in Panguitch

Stock image | Photo by Moussa81/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

PANGUITCH — A 68-year-old great-grandmother has been arrested on federal charges alleging that she sold methamphetamine out of her home in Panguitch.

Roxanna Abner-Simkins was arrested at her residence on Dec. 28, according to a news release issued Tuesday by Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

More than one pound of methamphetamine, along with “a substantial amount” of cocaine and heroin and weapons were recovered from the home, the statement added.

The investigation and arrest were conducted by officers from the Iron Garfield Beaver Counties Narcotics Task Force, along with Garfield County Sheriff’s deputies and one member of the Piute County Sheriff’s Office.

A 3-year-old child, who authorities identified as the great-grandchild of Abner-Simkins, was taken into protective custody by the state Division of Child and Family Services.

Roxanna Abner-Simkins booking photo, Iron County Jail, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 13, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

“A hair follicle test was done on the child and showed positive for opioids and methamphetamines,” the statement said.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in federal court Jan. 8 in support of the arrest, officers had used an undercover informant to make multiple controlled purchases at Abner-Simkins’ home between September and December 2020. A warrant was obtained on Dec. 27 and executed the following day, the affidavit said.

During the search of Abner-Simkins’ residence, officers reportedly found multiple individual bags containing a crystalline substance consistent with methamphetamine totaling approximately 1.16 pounds (526 grams). A small sample from one of the bags tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine, according to the statement. 

Two handguns and a large amount of cash were also found inside the home, according to the affidavit.

Court documents show a motion was filed Wednesday to dismiss the various state charges against Abner-Simkins, now that federal charges have been filed.

Abner-Simkins is in custody at Iron County Jail in Cedar City under a federal hold as of Wednesday.

Two other adults who were inside the residence were also arrested during the raid, according to the statement issued by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. Rhonda Abner, 40, and Andrew Lynn Sawyer, 29, each face misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, court records show.

This report is based on information provided by law enforcement 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.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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