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Pilot with drug conviction arrested for drugs, charges of rape

By Pat Reavy | Posted - Jan 6th, 2014 @ 6:01pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man previously convicted of flying marijuana into Utah now faces allegations of rape and drug distribution in Oregon.

Christopher Ian Iverson, 45, was arrested in Ashland, Ore., for investigation of a bevy of charges including four counts of rape, six counts of sex abuse, six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, six counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, sodomy, six counts of Ecstasy distribution and one count of delivering marijuana to a minor, according to a press release from the city police department. Iverson was arrested Friday after detectives served multiple search warrants, and was being held on $197,000 bail in the Jackson County Jail.

Iverson is believed to have provided Ecstasy, marijuana and "whippets" (nitrous oxide) to teens since early 2011 during "after parties" that would take place at his business, Culture Works, according to Ashland police. Culture Works was a cafe and performing arts venue that is no longer open.

Investigators believe Iverson became involved sexually with several of the minor females.

"The investigation revealed that Christopher Iverson would provide illegal drugs to minors in exchange for sexual activity as well as providing illegal drugs to minors during events at his business (Culture Works) and other events around the state of Oregon," Ashland police said in a statement. "It is strongly believed by investigators that additional victims of Christopher Iverson have yet to be identified."

Iverson's criminal history stretches to Utah where he was arrested in 2010 after he and a partner landed a plane with six pounds of marijuana at the Erda Airport in Tooele. Department of Homeland Security investigators had been monitoring Iverson and Derek Shields, and tracked them as they took off from Willits, Calif. They were originally scheduled to land at Salt Lake Airport No. 2 in West Jordan, but near Tooele they dropped off the airport radar that was tracking the plane. Tooele County authorities were contacted and found the plane at the Erda airport.

Iverson had about $6,500 cash in his pocket when officers arrested him. The aircraft was registered at the time to Enlightening Films, a company that made pro-marijuana movies. Iverson was the president of the company.

He later took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of drug distribution, a class A misdemeanor. He was given a suspended jail sentence, ordered to pay a fine and forfeit the money investigators found in his pocket. Iverson and his partner were allowed to keep their plane, according to court records.


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