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Utah County Sheriff

19-year-old woman arrested for investigation of child endangerment, drug crimes

By Ashley Fredde, KSL.com | Posted - Mar. 3, 2021 at 5:04 p.m.


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EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Sheriff's deputies say a 19-year-old woman was arrested earlier this week after she was seen driving erratically with a young child unrestrained in the car. The deputy who pulled her over also discovered drugs and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle, according to the Utah County Sheriff's Office.

The deputy stopped Gabriella Ann McKenzie's car in Eagle Mountain around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. A Thursday news release from the sheriff's offices says when the officer pulled up to the side of her car, he observed McKenzie on a video phone call while driving; and when he stopped the car, he noticed the smell of marijuana.

Another deputy arrived to help the officer, and they asked McKenzie to get her children — 2 years old and 8 months old — out of the car so they could search it, the sheriff's office says.

According to the news release, McKenzie argued with the officers, saying that they could not search the car. The officers said when she reached into the back seat to remove her children, they observed her take something out of a box and conceal it.

Officers said they were concerned the concealed object in her waistband could be a weapon, so they handcuffed McKenzie and saw a brown bag in her waistband. According to the release, the bag contained cocaine. Officers said they also found a small amount of marijuana, liquor and drug paraphernalia in the car.

The children's grandparents arrived and took the children and the car, the release says.

McKenzie was booked into jail for investigation of endangerment of a child, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, illegal possession of alcohol, evidence tampering, illegal possession of tobacco, use of a handheld device while driving, a suspended driver license, and failure to stay in one lane.

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