By Travis Uresk
Ft. Duchesne, Ut.-On 6/29/23, at around 9:30 pm, Sgt. Watkins with the Uintah County Sheriff's Department observed a driver of a vehicle not wearing his seat belt. At approximately 450 North 5750 East in Ft. Duchesne, a traffic stop was conducted, and the Deputy approached the driver and single occupant of the vehicle.
Sgt. Watkins obtained the driver's information, who was identified as 51-year-old Richard Thomas Hoke. While running Richard through the state system to verify his driver's license and check for warrants, Cpl. Harrison deployed his state-certified narcotic K-9 on the exterior of Richard's vehicle.
During the free air sniff, Cpl. Harrison advised his K-9 demonstrated a change in behavior and gave a final indication on the vehicle to the odor of illegal drugs.
Richard was asked to get out of the vehicle and was advised of the K-9 indication of illegal drugs. Richard was issued his Miranda Rights while assisting Officers searched his vehicle.
Richard admitted he had methamphetamine on his person and agreed to retrieve it. Down the front of Richard's pants, he pulled out a cloth bag that contained 14 grams of methamphetamine along with a syringe. In Richard's front pocket, Sgt. Watkins located a plastic container with 2 grams of methamphetamine. Richard did not comment regarding distributing methamphetamine.
Inside Richard's vehicle, the Officers found syringes, scales with residue, several small baggies (some with residue), along with additional methamphetamine found inside a gear shift knob, a pill inside a baggie that was identified as Oxycodone, and additional pills labeled as Gabapentin.
The meth found is not a usual amount for an individual for personal use. With this amount of methamphetamine, the scales and baggies, along with the statement made by Richard, he is not currently employed. Sgt. Watkins believed this amount of methamphetamine was intended to be distributed.
During the interview with Richard, he admitted he is a daily user of meth by smoking and injecting the substance.
Richard has a prior conviction in 2018 out of Utah for narcotics. Dispatch also advised he has a drug conviction in Idaho.