Utah man avoids drug charges for 3 years — until he was arrested for allegedly refusing a mask

Apr 30, 2021, 3:17 PM
A Utah man was arrested in 2018 for drug possession, but was never charged. That is, not until he w...
A Utah man was arrested in 2018 for drug possession, but was never charged. That is, not until he was arrested in December for allegedly refusing a mask. (Photo: Unified Police)
(Photo: Unified Police)

SALT LAKE CITY — Three years ago, a Utah man was arrested after police say they found more than 100 pounds of marijuana and more than $50,000 in his apartment. But he was never charged — that is, not until he was arrested in December after police say he refused to wear a mask inside a Provo store. 

Utahn arrested for drug possession, but never charged

This comes about nearly three years after Elijah Brandt Webb, 38, was arrested. Police seized about 125 pounds of marijuana and more than $50,000 from his basement apartment at the time, according to charging documents. Webb began renting the Riverton apartment on April 30, 2018 when his landlord began suspecting he had drugs. 

By May 3, the landlord called Unified police to report his suspicions. Although Webb told the landlord he was only making tea, the landlord reportedly collected some evidence of marijuana while Webb wasn’t home to give to police. 

The next day, police served a search warrant.

Officers arrested Webb, but formal charges were never filed against him. It’s unclear why, but Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said it may be because the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined federal charges — handing the case back to the police detective to file state charges. 

“The assigned detective dropped the ball,” Gill told KSL.com. “This is one of those cases that, but for an intrepid reporter, would have gone missing. If you had not looked into this, this case would not have been filed.”

Utah man arrested after allegedly refusing a mask — and KSL finds criminal history

Webb made the news again on Dec. 7 when he was arrested in Provo for allegedly refusing to wear a mask inside a store and then refusing to leave, according to police. 

According to the police affidavit, Webb was at a bank inside a Smith’s store when the manager asked him to wear a mask. Webb refused and then “started talking to customers, questioning them as to why they were wearing masks,” according to charging documents. 

The manager told police Webb began “causing a scene.” The police were called after Webb refused to leave the building five times. 

KSL.com initially reported on the Provo arrest when they learned about Webb’s previous drug-related arrest. After calling the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, reporters learned the case was never filed. 

The case happened around the same time Herriman formed its own police department, when all of the detectives on the case left to work for the Herriman Police Department. Unified Police Lt. Melody Cutler said the case must’ve gotten lost in the shuffle. 

Police move forward with both cases

The drug-related case was reviewed earlier in April, where Webb was charged in 3rd District Court with a third-degree felony of drug possession with intent to distribute. His initial appearance in court is scheduled for May 4. 

In the mask case, Webb was charged with a class C misdemeanor of disorderly conduct in Provo Justice Court. His next court hearing is set for May 12. 

Today’s Top Stories


Photo of a SLCPD cruiser...
Devin Oldroyd

SLCPD arrest suspect following “highly coordinated” pursuit

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Following a highly coordinated and long search, the Salt Lake City Police Department safely arrested a 22-year-old suspect. According to a press release, Bhode Smith was booked into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on charges of Failure to Respond to an Officer’s Signal to Stop, Failure to Stop at […]
2 days ago
Image of the crash that killed two people in West Valley City on 12/3/22 (Photo courtesy of Doris S...
Chandler Holt

2 dead after crash into parked box truck

Two people died following a crash into a parked box truck in West Valley City on Saturday. 
2 days ago
Flowers and stuffed animals are lined up outside a sign along Pullman Road in Moscow, Idaho, to pay...
Elizabeth Wolfe and Eric Levenson, CNN

‘Sketched out’ University of Idaho students return to campus from break with still no arrest in quadruple killings

More than two weeks since the deaths of 4 students near University of Idaho. With no suspect or arrest, "people are kind of sketched out" as they return from Thanksgiving break
2 days ago
false lockdown...
Devin Oldroyd

Lehi building placed on false lockdown after report of unconcealed gun

A Lehi building was placed on a false lockdown following a report of a man with an unconcealed firearm. There was determined to be no threat at the scene.
3 days ago
Holiday Police Pay-it-Forward event....
Waverly Golden

Salt Lake City Police Department hosts holiday Pay-it-Forward event

Salt Lake City Police Department along with SLC School District paired 50 children with a police officer for a holiday shopping experience.
3 days ago
Four Dead University of Idaho...
Aya Elamroussi, CNN

Authorities swat down rumors surrounding unsolved killings of 4 University of Idaho students

Authorities in a small Idaho city that had not recorded a murder in years are urging the public to be vigilant against rumors and conjectures surrounding the unsolved killings of four college students last month.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Utah man avoids drug charges for 3 years — until he was arrested for allegedly refusing a mask