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Vernal police search for two probationers that were believed to have drugs on them

By Travis Uresk


Vernal, Ut.- 9/29/23

Sgt Watt was assigned to a drug activity call involving a male and a female. The dispatch report was that 29-year-old Jonah Grant Betts and 27-year-old Haylee Erleen Betts were both on probation, and both were believed to have drugs on them.

It was also reported that they had left drugs at their residence. This call came from the family of Haylee Betts, whose home Jonah and Haylee are currently living at. Sgt Watt responded to the call just after 1:00 p.m.

Sgt Watt drove to the area where the couple were said to be going but didn't see them there. The Officer found them a short time later, walking West on 400 North. Watt didn't see any drugs being used, nor did they appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Jonah's probation officer was contacted by Sgt Watt, and explained the call to him. The AP&P agent asked the Officer to search Jonah's person for drugs based on an earlier visit with Jonah, where he tested positive for meth. Watt stopped and searched Jonah, but he had no contraband and was released.

Sgt Watt drove to the Betts residence and spoke with Haylee's mother, who informed the Sgt that Jonah and Haylee were already gone when she woke up. She went into their bedroom to straighten it up. While doing so, she found a tin with drug paraphernalia on the bed, concealed under some blankets.

The complainant called Haylee and told her to remove the items from her house, as that was one of the conditions of living there. After several more attempted phone calls, it was reported to the police. At some point before the Officers arrived, Haylee went back to her mother's house to remove the items, but her mother would not let her in because the police had been called.

Again, Sgt Watt contacted Jonah's AP&P agent, who confirmed that Jonah lives at the residence where the paraphernalia was left. AP&P arrived, and Sgt Watt assisted them with a home visit and searching the bedroom. The bedroom is very small and packed full of kid's toys, clothing, and other indications that it is a child's room.

There is a small bunk bed in which Haylee’s mother stated that Jonah and Haylee sleep on the top bunk. The bottom bunk was full of clothing and other items. Haylee’s mother showed the police where she found the drug paraphernalia from the top bunk.

The paraphernalia is a metal/tin with folded-up aluminum foil pieces, most of which were burnt on one side and had black residue on the other. Inside several of the folded pieces of tinfoil was a black substance stuck to the tinfoil. From the Officer's training and experience, the foil pieces and the black substance indicate using heroin or other opiates.

Also in the tin were several plastic tooter pipes with black residue inside of them. Further up the bed but away from the tin was another piece of tinfoil with a black substance, a small baggie of marijuana, and a broken glass pipe. The broken pipe was between layers of blankets on top of the bed.

While the probation search was being conducted, assisting Officer's found the couple walking on South Vernal Ave. By request, both of them were taken into custody for the drugs and drug paraphernalia found in their bedroom.

Sgt Watt responded to the jail, where he first interviewed Haylee about the items in her bedroom. She stated that they were going to throw them away. She denied any drug use and was given the opportunity to do a voluntary drug test, but Haylee declined.

During the interview with Jonah about the items found in the bedroom. He stated that they were going to throw them away. Jonah also denied using drugs but acknowledged that he had used meth recently. Jonah was given another drug test by AP&P, and his second test also tested positive for meth. Jonah denied using any opiates or marijuana but didn't have a reasonable explanation for items in his bedroom other than saying that the drugs were old.

Based on the drugs and drug paraphernalia being located in the bedroom and bed used by Jonah and Haylee Betts, they were both charged with possession of heroin/opiates, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Due to Jonah’s criminal history convictions, his charges were enhanced to a 3rd degree felonies.

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