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3 arrested on drug charges in Garfield County; drugs found in child's system, police say

By Ashley Fredde, KSL.com | Posted - Jan. 12, 2021 at 8:48 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Three people were arrested after more than 1 pound of methamphetamines and a substantial amount of heroin and cocaine, and 2 handguns were recovered at a Garfield County home.

Court documents say the arrests come after the Narcotic Task Force — consisting of officers from Iron, Garfield, and Beaver counties — met with two confidential informants in September and October. The informants, at the officer's instruction, bought controlled substances on multiple occasions from Roxanna Abner Simkins.

During the investigation, the narcotics team discovered that Simkins had two residences where she allegedly distributed drugs to the two informants, the documents say. The team also discovered through recordings that a child was present in the home.

On Dec. 27, officers requested and received a "no-knock" warrant for the two residences and gathered the Iron County SWAT Team, Narcotics Task Force, and Garfield County deputies to execute the search warrants. Abner-Simpkins was arrested at her home on Dec. 28, according to a Garfield County Sheriff's Office press release. Two others, identified as Rhonda Abner and Andrew Sawyer, were also taken into custody.

Court documents state that K-9s and officers located a substance consistent with marijuana, methamphetamines totaling around 1.16 pounds, multiple bags with a dark substance consistent with heroin, a container with rocks consistent with cocaine, a pill bottle with two "tinfoil wrapped cubes believed to be laced with acid," multiple prescription pill containers, drug paraphernalia, two handguns and cash.

A 3-year-old was found to be living in Simkins' home and was removed, according to the release. The child was taken by the Department of Child and Family Services for her protection after a hair follicle test showed that she tested positive for opioids and methamphetamines, officials said.

Simkins is expected to be prosecuted federally due to a large number of drugs and weapons located in the home, police said.

According to court documents Simkins is facing 11 counts of distribution or arranging to distribute a controlled substance; 10 counts of purchase, transfer, possession, or use of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person; three counts of possession or use of a controlled substance; and three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

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Ashley Fredde

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