Suspicious drug call in St. George leads to arrest of siblings accused of armed robbery

2020 file photo of police vehicles at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 15 near Exit 40, Washington County, Utah, Nov. 2, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News/ Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — Three people were arrested Friday night, including a brother and sister who were later charged with armed robbery, after officers responded to an apartment complex on suspicious drug activity.

File photo of a St. George Police patrol unit on southbound Bluff Street in St. George, Utah, July 26, 2021| Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

On Friday, officers responded to an apartment complex near West 540 East shortly after 11:30 p.m. on a report of drug use taking place inside one of the units. Additionally, there were two juveniles who were reportedly inside when the illicit activity was taking place, according to charging documents filed with 5th District Court.

The report states that the officers approached the apartment and peered through the front window into the living room area, where they noticed several individuals, including a man who was sitting on a couch with a glass bong in his hand.

Police say they also observed a suspect grab the pipe and run toward the bathroom as soon as they knocked and announced that police were at the door.

As the door opened, officers said they smelled a strong odor of burned marijuana coming from inside of the home. They then asked the man, later identified as 20-year-old Dillynn Louis Pruett, to step outside so they could have a word with him, the report states.

Officers would soon learn that Pruett was on felony probation following a conviction on a 2019 aggravated assault case.

Pruett reportedly said he hid the bong and marijuana in the bathroom and explained he was afraid of violating one of the tampering laws, but when officers went into the bathroom to retrieve the items, they were no longer there.

Police say a second suspect, 18-year-old Zoey Pruett, told officers she hid the bong inside the closet and then she retrieved it and turned it over to police, along with a baggie of suspected marijuana, according to the report.

All occupants were asked to exit the apartment. While speaking to police, Zoey Pruett told officers she hid the items for a second time to also avoid a tampering charge.

The two suspects, brother and sister, along with their mother, 46-year-old Terri Munk, the woman who answered the door for police, were arrested and charged with two counts of causing or permitting a vulnerable adult or child to be exposed to a controlled substance, as well as misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia.

2020 stock image of Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 21, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The officer also noted that all three suspects allegedly provided “children with a home and drugs.”

As officers were transporting the suspects to jail, they were notified that both Zoe Pruett and Dillynn Pruett were wanted for questioning in connection with an armed robbery incident reported on the afternoon of July 12.

In that case, a woman called 911 shortly after 4 p.m. reporting that a man had run up to her vehicle and had tried to get in, telling emergency dispatch the man had told her “someone stole his things,” according to charging documents filed in the case.

During the call, authorities spoke to the man who reported that minutes earlier, two suspects, a man and a woman, pulled a gun on him and demanded he hand over his personal property “or they would shoot him,” the officer noted in the report.

The man reportedly said he left his home in Hurricane to run errands in St. George when he noticed he was low on gas. He then pulled into an apartment complex to find the nearest gas station and get out of the heat.

While stopped, he said, a white car pulled up behind him. The driver got out and walked up to the rear driver’s side of his car and banged on the window before getting into the back seat, followed by the passenger who also got into his vehicle.

The reporting party also told officers it was the passenger who was “trying to convince him to just do what they were asking him to do.”

That was when the man placed a gun to the side of the reporting party’s head, according to the report, and asked him for his cell phone, wallet and keys. The caller reportedly told the suspect to just take the items and leave him alone. The suspects grabbed his Samsung Galaxy Note 9 cell phone, keys and his wallet that contained his ID and two bank cards and got out of his car.

Before the pair drove off, he said, the woman told him if he mentioned her name she would return and “kill him.”

As soon as the suspects drove away the caller said he ran down the street behind the car, and then  attempted to flag down a bystander to call police – which is when he ran into the woman who made the initial call to 911.

In this 2017 file photo, for illustrative purposes only, several call handlers are taking 911 calls at the St. George Communications Center located in St. Utah, April 21, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Through the course of the investigation, officers identified two possible suspects: the driver, Dillynn Pruett, and Zoey Pruett, the passenger.

When the officers working the armed robbery case were advised that both Pruetts were in custody, they responded to the jail for an interview.

The report also states that both suspects admitted to taking part in the robbery and told police they had been asked by another individual to scare the man, which is why they targeted his car when they saw him stopped near an apartment complex. The two suspects also reportedly told officers they both robbed the man at gunpoint, using two airsoft guns that were later located by officers.

According to the report, the airsoft guns were described as being similar to “Glock” handguns and both had the orange safety tip removed.

Police say the suspects said they no longer had the reporting party’s property that was allegedly taken during the incident, saying they “got rid of it.”

Officers noted that Dillynn Pruett was on felony probation when both incidents in July took place, following a shooting reported in August 2019 involving four shots that were fired in a church parking lot.

In that case, Pruett ultimately admitted to being in the car that night, and later said he was the one who fired the shots at two different vehicles using a gun that he “purchased for protection.”

He was originally charged with three counts of aggravated assault following his arrest, but the state agreed to drop one of the charges in exchange for a guilty plea – an agreement he entered into during a hearing held two months later.

In November 2019, the suspect was sentenced to serve 120 days in jail and placed on three years’ probation.

Following Friday’s arrest, both Zoey Pruett and Dillynn Pruett are also being held on the aggravated robbery charge, in addition to the charges related to the incident reported in the apartment Friday.

Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained. 

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders 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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