Domestic Assault Case Results in Major Drug Bust


Carbon County Sheriff’s Office Press Release

On Saturday at 12:38 p.m., an attempt to locate was issued by Price Dispatch for a white Lincoln Continental passenger vehicle. Dispatch advised that the occupants of the vehicle were seen “fist fighting” at the Port of Entry just west of Helper. Dispatch also advised that the vehicle left the Port of Entry eastbound on SR 6 toward Price. Carbon County Deputies Shawn Addley and Mike Hreinson located the vehicle traveling eastbound on SR 6 near mile post 237 and a traffic stop was initiated.

As deputies approached the vehicle, it was apparent a male occupied the back seat and a female subject occupied the driver’s seat. Both parties appeared to be making furtive movements, either attempting to locate or hide something in the backseat area. Deputy Addley attempted to make contact with the male subject, who refused to acknowledge his presence at the window as he stared forward clenching his fists. Upon a second attempt, the male subject, later identified as Jeffrey Wellington (35 of South Dakota) acknowledged Deputy Addley.

Due to the incident originating as a domestic situation, combined with the activity displayed by the subjects, Mr. Wellington was asked to exit the vehicle. Deputy Hreinson spoke with Mr. Wellington near the rear of the vehicle as Deputy Addley made contact with the female who was identified as Lacey VanCleave (25 of South Dakota), who continued to try and reach into the backseat area of the vehicle.

Upon initial contact with Mr. Wellington, deputy Hreinson observed redness and scratches on the back of his neck. Deputy Hreinson also observed a folding pocket knife and a second multi-tool clipped to Mr. Wellington’s belt. Due to the situation, a Terry Frisk of Mr. Wellington was conducted. Deputy Hreinson subsequently located brass knuckles and a second folding knife in Mr. Wellington’s possession.

Deputy Hreinson informed Mr. Wellington that the reason for the stop was due to a report of an altercation near the Port of Entry. Mr. Wellington was reluctant to speak and provided small amounts of information regarding the original complaint.

Mr. Wellington did advise that he and his girlfriend, Lacey VanCleave, were traveling from Las Vegas back to their home in South Dakota. He went on to say that while he was driving they began to argue and Ms. VanCleave got into the back seat. At some point during the argument, Mr. Wellington advised that he felt something hit him on the back of the head. He then stopped the vehicle near the Port of Entry.

Dispatch informed Deputy Hreinson that Mr. Wellington did not have a driver’s license, and the vehicle was not registered to either occupant. During Deputy Addley’s conversation with Ms. VanCleave, she was extremely reluctant to speak with him. She did, however, advise Deputy Addley that Mr. Wellington grabbed her hand as she attempted to hit him. Ms. VanCleave would not provide any additional information but continued to make movements toward the back seat of the vehicle. Due to Ms. VanCleave’s continued movements towards the items in the back seat, she was asked to exit the vehicle.

During further questioning, Ms. VanCleave continued by stating, that as she and Mr. Wellington proceeded on their trip, Mr. Wellington took over the driving responsibilities. As he drove, they began arguing about the fact that he had the windows down. According to Ms. VanCleave, Mr. Wellington refused to roll up the windows, prompting her to hit him on the back of the head forcing his head towards the steering wheel. Ms. VanCleave acknowledged this action was the cause of the scratches on Mr. Wellington’s neck.

Ms. VanCleave initially stated the switching of driver’s was due to the fact Mr. Wellington does not have a driver’s license, however, then changed her statement. It was later determined by Price Dispatch that Ms. VanCleave’s driver’s license was suspended.

Both parties statements changed frequently as they spoke to Deputy Hreinson and Deputy Addley and the actions of both parties were of a suspect nature throughout the contact. It was determined that due to the fact that Lacey VanCleave had assaulted Jeffrey Wellington as he drove the vehicle, placing themselves and other motorists in danger, combined with the fact Ms. VanCleave’s driver’s license was suspended, she would be arrested.

Deputy Addley began impounding the vehicle with the assistance of local UHP Troopers. During the impound, large amounts of Methamphetamine, an open container of alcohol and assorted items of drug paraphernalia were located. The vehicle was impounded due to the fact that there was no licensed driver to take possession and the registered owner claimed to have sold the vehicle several months prior.

The Methamphetamine weighed a total of one pound and was packaged in individual plastic baggies, indicating the intent of distribution. The paraphernalia consisted of pipes, spoons scales and plastic baggies. These items were all located in the area of the back passenger compartment that each occupant was seen attempting to access.

Lacey VanCleave (25- South Dakota) was booked into the Carbon County Jail for violation of Utah Code 76-5-102 (Assault- DV) a Class B Misdemeanor, 53-3-227 (Driving on Suspended License) a Class C Misdemeanor, 42-6a-526 (Open Container of Alcohol in Vehicle), 58-37-8 (Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute) a 2nd Degree Felony and 58-37a-5 (Possession of Drug Paraphernalia) a Class B Misdemeanor.

Jeffrey Wellington (35- South Dakota) was arrested and booked into the Carbon County Jail for violation of Utah Codes 58-37-8 (Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute) a 2nd Degree Felony and 58-37a-5 (Possession of Drug Paraphernalia) a Class B Misdemeanor.

All charges will be reviewed and screened by the Carbon County Attorney’s Office.

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