The Kane County Drug Task Force made a dent in local illegal drug use when they arrested 10 Fredonia and Kanab residents in a week-long drug investigation.

“I’m proud of Detective Wright, as well as the other task force detectives,” said Kane County Sheriff Tracy Glover. He also cited cooperation and support from the Kanab City Police and Utah Highway Patrol. “We clearly have a drug problem in our community, and it has been on a serious uptick. Methamphetamine use has been a fluctuating problem for years, but the heroin problem is at an all-time high,” according to Glover. “This investigation is demonstrative as to how many may be involved.”

Detective Wright, who is Kane County’s lead drug detective, was tipped off on April 1 by another law enforcement agency that three local individuals – Tyler Bradley, of Fredonia, and Robert Hurt and Tasha Macfarlane, of Kanab, were allegedly transporting some heroin from northern Utah. They were in possession of approximately six grams of heroin, which was worth about $1200, when they were intercepted outside of Kanab.

“So the night before last, we wrapped up an investigation based on information we had received earlier,” said Glover. “The individuals were attempting to distribute the drugs at a local motel.”

Arrested on April 4 as a result of the investigation were Theodore Jessop, Jocelyn Ramirez, Brandon Anderson and Danny Markland, of Fredonia. Also arrested were John Robinson, Russell Jones and Jim Barnes, all of Kanab.

All told, the arrests totaled 16 felonies involving amphetamine distribution, and scores of other charges, including resisting arrest!

Glover said besides the importance of the arrests and getting the drugs off the street, he wanted to inform the public of the drug problem we do have here. “Law enforcement is concerned because of the noticeable increase with younger people using drugs. We’re committed to continuing aggressive enforcement to knock the problem down,” said Glover.

He affirmed recent media coverage concerning the dangers of narcotic pain killer addiction leading to illegal heroin and meth use. “Some first get the pain killer for a real medical issue, but then get addicted to the narcotic pain relief, and seek other drugs to address their addiction,” said Glover. “There is definitely a nexus between illicit and prescription drug use.”

As for what signs to look for concerning heroin use, Glover said users become very lethargic. They ingest the drug primarily by smoking or injecting it. Methamphetamine users do not sleep. They are very active and very paranoid, and often have sores on their skin. They ingest meth by snorting, smoking or injecting it. “In both cases, users usually withdraw from family and friends who are not users,” said Glover.

An addict will go to extreme lengths to get a drug they need or can trade for something else they want, as well as steal money or property for money to purchase illegal drugs. There have been some local break-ins by people looking for prescription narcotics.

“I would like to encourage people to talk to their kids about drugs, and lock up any prescription narcotics they have in their house,” said Glover. “People here need to have an awareness of the problem. They also need to be willing to provide tips to law enforcement concerning suspicious behavior.”