Ex-Utah deputy charged with impersonating officer after allegedly making threats

Jan 25, 2023, 12:23 PM | Updated: 12:23 pm

ST. GEORGE , Utah — A former Washington County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested and accused of impersonating an officer — for the second time.

Jason Ryan Little, 47, was arrested Monday and charged Tuesday in 5th District Court with impersonation of an officer, a class B misdemeanor, and possession of a weapon by a restricted person, a third-degree felony.

On Jan. 18, an agent with Adult Probation and Parole was contacted by a man who said Little was trying to retrieve property belonging to a woman who is currently incarcerated.

“He called four to five times and sent the messages in a very short amount of time and seemed to be threatening me with a picture of someone in a Washington County deputy uniform,” the man told the agent, according to a police booking affidavit. Little also allegedly sent a message that stated, “Please reach out to me so I don’t need to reach out in a professional manner.”

The agent looked at the picture that Little allegedly sent, which “depicted Jason in a tan Washington County Sheriff’s Office uniform sitting in a white F-150 truck. The sheriff’s office logo was clearly visible on Jason’s left sleeve,” the affidavit states.

The agent is familiar with Little and knew that he has not been a certified police officer for several years.

On Thursday, Adult Probation and Parole agents went to Little’s residence to question him about the texts.

“I asked Jason to describe the picture he sent and Jason stated ‘a picture of myself in my Washington County uniform.’ I asked Jason, ‘If you sent a text asking for her property back, stated you did not want to have to handle it in a professional manner, and included a picture of yourself in uniform, what does that look like?’ Jason sighed, slightly looked down and stated, ‘I know exactly what that looks like,'” the affidavit states.

In September, Little was arrested and accused of threatening a school resource officer in St. George. Because of news coverage of that arrest, additional information was developed about a gun Little had in his possession and police learned it was stolen, according to charging documents. He was convicted of theft by receiving stolen property and being a restricted person in possession of a gun in October and received a suspended sentence of one to 15 years in the Utah State Prison.

In 2020, he pleaded no contest to a charge of impersonating an officer and received a suspended six-month jail sentence.

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Ex-Utah deputy charged with impersonating officer after allegedly making threats