St. George traffic stop turns up hundreds of counterfeit fentanyl pills, deputies say

Dreshaun Ellisemery Moore. Photo Courtesy: Washington County Jail

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Feb. 28, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A St. George traffic stop resulted in the seizure of hundreds of counterfeit fentanyl pills Thursday, according to a probable cause statement filed in Washington County’s 5th District Court.

According to the statement, Dreshaun Ellisemery Moore, 22, a resident of California, is facing charges of:

  • Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a second-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, marijuana/spice, a class B misdemeanor
  • Interference with arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor
  • Open container/drinking alcohol in a vehicle, a class C misdemeanor

The arresting deputy conducted a traffic stop on northbound Interstate 15 near mile marker 5 in St. George in the early hours of Thursday morning for a left lane travel violation, the statement said.

The deputy stated he stopped the vehicle and made contact with a woman who was driving, as well as Moore, who was a front seat passenger.

“While explaining the reason for the traffic stop I detected the odor of burnt marijuana emitting from the open front passenger’s window,” the arresting officer wrote. “Based on this I asked both occupants to exit the vehicle and advised them of my suspicions of there being marijuana in the vehicle. Upon exiting the vehicle Dreshaun began to make furtive movements in the area of his front waistband as well as front right pants’ pocket.”

The deputy wrote he asked Moore several times to place his hands on the roof of his vehicle.

“Dreshaun refused several times and continued to pull away from me and make furtive movements,” the statement said. “Based on this, force was used to keep Dreshaun from reaching what ever he was attempting to get to. Dreshaun again began to fight and tried again to reach into is front right pants’ pocket.” Moore was shortly after placed into a set of handcuffs and the arresting officer asked if he minded if he searched his person.

“While feeling this pocket I felt a large hard bulge and believed this to possibly be a weapon,” the arresting officer wrote. “Dreshaun again became physically resistant and had to be held against the cement barrier by myself and another deputy. This hard bulge was removed and was found to be a large bag of pills. Based on this I placed the female driver in handcuffs as well and observed Dreshaun to begin fight with another deputy to the point he had to be directed to the ground.”

A bag containing a green, leafy substance consistent in odor and appearance with raw marijuana was allegedly located in Moore’s front left pocket. During a search of the suspect vehicle another bag containing a green, leafy substance consistent in appearance and odor to marijuana was located in the center console of the vehicle, the deputy said. He also claimed there was a can of an alcoholic beverage under the front passenger’s seat.

After being read his Miranda rights, Moore allegedly stated “he doesn’t use the pills, he just brings them and drops them off to a friend in Washington City,” the statement said. Moore also stated he comes to the St. George area and “hands the pills out.” A total of $2,371 in cash was found in the vehicle. There were a total of 409 pills located on Moore’s person.

Moore was also found to have two active warrants for his arrest.

He was transported to Washington County Jail, where he is being held without bail.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Fentanyl-related overdoses resulted in the loss of more than 36 thousand American lives in 2019, the said CDC said.


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