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PROVO — Officers entered what they believed was the residence of an alleged drug dealer Tuesday night in Utah County with guns drawn, only to quickly learn they were in the wrong home.
Utah County Sheriff’s deputies and Adult Probation and Parole agents thought they were entering the home of Jayce McKay Crook, 24, who was convicted of drug distribution in March and sentenced to three years probation.
Recently, the Utah County Special Enforcement Team received information that Crook was selling marijuana out of a home in Provo, according to a police affidavit.
“Detectives conducted a surveillance operation and observed Jayce involved in behavior consistent with drug selling behavior,” the affidavit states.
On Tuesday, parole agents and sheriff’s deputies went to the address where Crook was allegedly living. He did not answer the door, but agents spotted him on the corner of the block and took him into custody, the affidavit states.
“Jay was escorted back to the residence of record and asked where his keys were. Jayce stated his girlfriend had them and that he no longer lived at that address. Jayce’s vehicle was parked near the residence. Jayce’s girlfriend called and Jayce was allowed to answer. His girlfriend stated she would toss the keys out of the window. Detectives believed that evidence was then being destroyed in the residence,” the affidavit states.
Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said the officers knocked on the door, but no one answered. Police then discovered the door was unlocked. Fearing that evidence was being destroyed, “at the direction of AP&P, detectives made entry into the home to stop the destruction of evidence,” the affidavit states.
With guns drawn, police entered and first encountered a man coming out of the bathroom who put his hands up, Cannon said. There were a total of four men in the house. But police determined within a minute that the men had “no connection whatsoever” to Crook, Cannon said.
“Detectives then learned that Jayce had provided a false address to AP&P and was actually living across the street,” the affidavit states. “By providing AP&P and detectives the wrong address and failing to say anything prior to detectives entering the home, Jayce placed the lives of four individuals at risk of serious injuries or even death.”
Crook was arrested for investigation of four counts of reckless endangerment — one for each of the four people who had guns drawn on them by police — as well as drug distribution, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. When officers went across the street to the right address, marijuana was found, the affidavit states.
Cannon said the four men whose residence was wrongly entered were surprised and a bit shaken but were understanding of the situation. He said it was fortunate that no one was injured in the situation.
Crook was also charged in May with rape and sexual battery for an incident that allegedly happened in 2018, according to charging documents. The next court hearing in that case is scheduled for Feb. 4.