RAWLINS — A traveling project worker was arrested last month on felony charges of possession of a controlled substance.
Jeffrey Johnson, 36, was arrested on June 28 in the Econo Lodge parking lot, located on Cedar Street, after Rawlins Police Department officers found 22 grams of bagged methamphetamine in his brown pick-up truck.
At approximately 11:40 p.m. on June 27, Rawlins Police Department Officer Thom Gamblin was dispatched to speak with an anonymous person to give information on drug intelligence.
The confidant was able to identify Johnson’s truck and what room he was potentially distributing and selling drugs from at the Econo Lodge.
Johnson, whose last place of residency is listed as Lewisville, Idaho, had been checked in to room No. 177 since May.
Econo Lodge Owner Dave Rader said that he was unaware of Johnson’s drug involvement, only that he was here for work.
“He was just in town for one of the projects,” Rader said.
He was unable to identify what project Johnson was working on.
Gamblin and RPD Officer Joel Robertson reported to the Econo Lodge and requested information on the occupant of room No. 177, which was confirmed as Johnson.
During their questioning, Johnson was spotted by Robertson, after pulling into Econo’s lot in a silver Chevy with Idaho plates.
Johnson was then questioned by the officers on where he was coming from after informing him they had received a tip that he was transporting drugs from Colorado.
After a spurt of stories that did not add up from Johnson, the suspect admitted that he had methamphetamine in his vehicle, but denied having any drugs in his room.
Along with the methamphetamine, a pipe with white residue was found in a kit in the back seat of the vehicle.
No substances were found in Johnson’s room, but two digital scales were discovered, which officers are trained to link to the distributing or purchasing of an illegal substance.
Despite the evidence, Rader doesn’t think Johnson’s involvement with the substance occurred directly in the hotel room.
“As far as we can tell, he wasn’t doing that in the room,” Rader said.
With the number of workers coming through due to many projects going on within the county, including turnover, Rader didn’t see Johnson’s stay as abnormal or suspicious.
“I don’t know what led up to (the arrest),” he said. “We’ve never had that type of incident before.”
Rader would not make any comment on Econo’s drug and drug paraphernalia procedures, but did mention the report did not come from his business.
“We didn’t call the police,” he said.
Johnson received felony possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), and can receive a maximum of seven years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000 or both.