Defense attorney charged with sneaking drugs into Utah jail

Tony Miles

Criminal charges have been filed against a Utah defense attorney who is accused of smuggling drugs into the Weber County jail.

Tony Brenchley Miles, 53, was charged last week in 2nd District Court with forgery and two counts of unlawful possession or use of a controlled substance in correctional facility, all third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested in April after deputies at the county jail received a tip that he was smuggling narcotics into the facility while visiting inmates.

Investigators learned from jail inmates that two prisoners who were caught with drugs had discussed someone nicknamed “Law School” who was bringing a “care package” to the jail, charges state.

Miles did not represent any of the inmates implicated in the case, according to a probable cause statement filed in court, but visited one of them several times in February and March and another once prior to April 7.

On that day, Miles was at the jail to visit a third inmate, according to charges, and signed in using another name. He then went to the “secure area,” where attorneys meet their clients, according to prosecutors.

There, a sheriff’s deputy told him he was performing random searches, according to charges.

“He become visibly worried,” charges state, “and asked to cancel the visit and exit the facility.”

He then allegedly volunteered that he had a heroin problem and handed the deputy a piece of aluminum foil and a black tube — items that law enforcement say is used to smoke heroin.

When the deputy stepped away to get a glove to collect the items, Miles began fidgeting with his beltline, according to charges. When pressed by the deputy, Miles allegedly gave the law enforcement officer a contact lens case. One side of the case had a “black rock” that looked like heroin, police say, while the other side contained a white powder substance that appeared to be cocaine.

Charges state that the substances tested positive for drugs.

Miles’ attorney, Richard Gallegos, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Miles was booked into the jail but was released. He is expected to make his first court appearance on Sept. 11.

The Utah State Bar lists Miles an ”active attorney” in its directory, and no public attorney discipline case has been filed in district court.

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