HEBER CITY, Utah, May 1, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Heber City man is facing two felony charges after he was arrested in a drug case, then investigators allegedly found children’s underwear and explicit pictures of young girls in his possession.
A probable cause statement from the Fourth District Court of Heber City said Joshua Cooper Nielson, 34, was initially arrested April 9 and was facing charges of possession or use of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.
The Wasatch Back Narcotics Enforcement Team, known as BackNET, served a search warrant on a residence in Heber City, the statement said. Detectives made contact with Nielson at his place of work and detained him. Nielson was advised of the search warrant and advised of the reason he was being detained.
A baggie was found in Nielson’s pants’ pocket, the statement said. Inside of the baggie was a crystal-like substance that subsequently tested positive for methamphetamine. Nielson was transported to his residence where he gave officials a key to his bedroom.
During a search of the bedroom an open Tide laundry detergent container was located, and detectives could see several used syringes inside.
While searching Nielson’s bedroom, detectives also noticed several pairs of underwear that appeared to belong to girls approximately 5 to 10 years old. The statement said Nielson does not have any young girls who live with him in his room. Two other families live in the residence, and both have young girls who are unrelated to the suspect.
The drugs and paraphernalia seized in the course of the warrant were
transported to the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office. While going through the items in the Tide container, detectives located another pair of young girl’s underwear, the statement said. The underwear was found mixed in with several used syringes.
“At this time the other occupants in the home were contacted by detectives and asked about the pair of underwear,” the statement said. “One of the other residents in the home informed detectives that the underwear belonged to her young daughter and that there was no reason that Joshua should have them in his possession.”
While at the Sheriff’s Office booking in evidence, detectives were contacted by Nielson’s boss.
“Joshua’s boss advised that he had found a backpack that he knows belonged to Joshua,” the statement said. “The boss asked that the backpack be removed from his place of employment. Detectives responded and met with the boss. Joshua’s boss stated that he believed that the backpack contained items of drugs and drug paraphernalia.”
The boss also stated that there were other items that he had seen in the backpack that he found “very concerning.”
The backpack was partially opened and detectives could see a plastic baggie with a crystal-like substance consistent with methamphetamine. Detectives could see what appeared to be a pair of very young girl’s underwear inside, as well as adult toys, the statement said.
Detectives met with Nielson at the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office April 10. After he was read his Miranda rights, he agreed to speak with detectives.
“Joshua was asked about the young girl’s underwear that was located,” the statement said. “Joshua stated that he had a fetish with small underwear. Joshua was asked if he had ever abused any of the girls in the home he lived with. Joshua denied ever touching the girls but advised that he had taken their underwear.”
Nielson also admitted to having pictures of young girls on his cellphone. After a consent form was signed, detectives searched the phone. During the search of the phone, investigators found multiple pictures of two prepubescent girls exposing themselves.
The suspect was then charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.
He is being held in Wasatch County Jail with his bail set at $20,000 cash only.