Fugitive from Utah found in Mesquite hotel room, arrested on drug and forgery charges

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MESQUITE, Nev. (ABC4) – A wanted man from South Salt Lake City was taken under arrest in a Nevada hotel room last week after detectives in the area obtained information on his whereabouts and found additional evidence of criminal activity.

James Buice Phillips was already on the run with an active felony arrest warrant in his name when authorities located him in a hotel room on Dec. 22. He was since been charged with 58 felony counts of forgery, 27 felony counts of possession with intent to utter fictitious note, 7 felony accounts to possess identifying information of another, felony possession of heroin, felony possession of methamphetamine, felony possession of a forgery lab, felony possession of a stolen vehicle, and fugitive from justice from another state.  

Police crews acquired information on the 35-year-old man’s whereabouts from Utah Parole and Probation. Upon taking the man into custody, investigators discovered evidence of criminal activity inside of the hotel room he had been lodged in.  

Detectives secured and implemented a search warrant on the room where they discovered methamphetamine, heroin, and evidence of a check forgery lab. Roughly 90 forged checks were written out to Phillips, presumably by himself, and ready for deposit. 

Authorities then identified a stolen moving van in the man’s possession which was parked outside of the hotel room. 

As a result of the felony charges, police transported Phillips to the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas.

Mesquite Police Chief MaQuade Chelsey gave credit to the collaboration of multiple police departments and agencies for their work in capturing a fugitive who had been operating across multiple states

“Our strong working relationship with other law enforcement agencies helps us combat crime that comes to Mesquite through interstate travel,” Chelsey stated. “I am grateful our detectives worked earnestly to locate and arrest this wanted criminal before he could victimize the businesses and citizens of Mesquite.” 

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