St. George man arrested on felony charges after shots-fired call

Richard D. Barraza. Photo: Washington County

ST. GEORGE, Utah, April 10, 2020 — A St. George man was arrested early Friday after a shots-fired call resulted in officers’ discovery of bullet casings, an illegal firearm, and an estimated 160 grams of contraband drugs.

Richard Dimitri Barraza, 23, was booked into the Washington County Jail on suspicion of:

  • Possession with intent to distribute a class C substance, a second-degree felony
  • Possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

Police were summoned to a St. George residence late Thursday night on the shots-fired call, and discovered several 9mm casings in the roadway in front of the residence, a probable cause statement says.

The residence was searched after consent was granted.

“While searching the garage of the residence, detectives with the St. George Police Department investigations unit located two baggies containing a large quantity of a brown rock like substance, a Ruger 9mm handgun with ammunition, and numerous items of suspected drug paraphernalia to include pipes, bong and aluminum foil with burnt residue,” the statement says.

“Due to the items which were located, detectives with the Washington County Drug Task Force were contacted and responded to the residence. Detectives recovered the two baggies containing the brown rock like substance. The packages had a combined weight of 159.7 grams. The substance from one of the baggies was tested and showed a presumptive positive result for heroin.”

Detectives talked to Barraza and advised him of his Miranda Rights, and Barraza agreed to talk, the probable cause statement says.

“Richard admitted that the heroin and the handgun located in the garage belonged to him. Richard told detectives that he had acquired the heroin in Las Vegas within the last 30 days. Richard told detectives he had purchased 10 ounces of heroin for $9,500. Richard told detectives that he believed he had 160 grams of heroin left.”

Barraza told officers he had purchased the handgun in Utah within the past 30 days, the statement says.

“Richard stated he had purchased the handgun for protection. Richard told detectives that he was a felon and was currently on federal probation and knew he was not supposed to be in possession of a gun.

“Richard admitted that the shooting that had occurred in front of the residence, was the result of a drug deal gone bad.”

Barraza’s bail was set at $15,000.


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