Suspects arrested in drug, runaway cases
In related investigations, two current and two former Helper residents were arrested and booked into jail on charges ranging from harboring a runaway to possession of/with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
The incident reportedly started several months ago with an investigation into a juvenile runaway case by Sgt. Ralph Vose of the Helper City Police Department
The juvenile had been placed into the custody of the state. When the juvenile purportedly ran from custody back to the home, the parents were investigated on custodial interference and harboring a runaway charges.
Vose had been attempting to locate the family to intervene and, on Jan. 25, there was a break in the case, when Anthony Ponzini, age 19, was arrested on charges of harboring a juvenile and custodial interference.
Helper Police Chief George Zamantakis said Ponzini had apparently been with the juvenile and failed to report the matter to the police.
On Jan. 27, the juvenile's family was reportedly located in Orangeville. Survellience was conducted at the residence as a result of reports of suspected illegal drug activity.
Carbon and Emery County law enforcement officials reportedly found 44-year-old Rick Cloward and 36-year-old Leisa Cloward in the home along with the couple's child, the runaway juvenile. Eighteen-year-old Crystal Lindt was also found at the residence. Lindt had three active $5,000 warrants for her arrest.
After obtaining written consent to search the residence from Rick Cloward, members of the Carbon Metro Drug Task Force, the Emery Drug Task Force, the Emery Sheriff's Office and the Helper Police Department discovered two and one-half ounces of suspected methamphetamine as well as $1,800 in cash.
Rick and Leisa Cloward were booked into the Emery jail on nlawful possession/use of drug paraphernalia and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance charges.
Agent Kyle Kulow of the Carbon Task Force said the amount of the suspected meth came as a surprise.
"It may not sound like a lot, but it was a fairly good amount," commented the local drug task force agent.
According to Kulow, meth is sold on the street in quarter-gram amounts. The local drug task force represented estimated the street value of the suspected meth seized during the investigation at the private residence in Orangeville at $4,500.
Zamantakis said the case came to a resolution through the diligent work of Vose.
"The good thing about this was the networking of law enforcement that was able to come together to stop drugs that would have hit the streets," noted the Helper police chief.
Zamantakis added that the bust was one of the larger ones in recent years in the community.
Meth is an addictive stimulant which affects the central nervous system.
It can be easily made with inexpensive, over-the-counter ingredients and is rapidly spreading to rural areas in the West, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Effects can include addiction, psychotic behavior, violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, delusions, brain damage and paranoia.
To report suspected illicit drug activities, Carbon County residents should contact the drug task force, the sheriff's office or the Price City Police Department at 636-3190.