Police seek manslaughter charge for drug suspect
Allege that sale of heroin caused the overdose death of Price man
Reports of a loud argument led to felony drug arrests for two Carbon County residents Saturday night as police were dispatched to a Price Main Street hotel. After the suspects were booked into the Carbon County Jail, an interview led to possible manslaughter charges for a Helper man.
According to a Price City press release, the incident began at about 11 p.m. when police where dispatched to the Greenwell Inn to investigate reports of a "man and woman arguing in one of the guest rooms."
Upon arrival, Price Police officers Susan Hyde and Brian Judd discovered Jessica Tawn Jarvis, 34, of Carbon County and Jason Jered Jaimez, 37, of Helper, who had been having an argument that caused an annoyance at the hotel.
As Carbon County Deputy Marcus Bott arrived to assist, he noted Jaimez, who was wanted by Helper Police for questioning in relation to a separate case. Helper Chief Trent Anderson requested that Bott detain Jaimez immediately.
"We had been investigating drug activity at Jaimez's home in Helper," said Anderson during a Monday telephone interview. "In fact we executed a warrant at his home in February and found substantial amounts of paraphernalia and other items."
According to Anderson, on Feb. 18 the Helper police searched Jaimez's home where he lives with his mother and found several pieces of drug paraphernalia with drug residue and multiple weapons which Jaimez is not permitted to own. Helper officers were waiting for an arrest warrant when Jaimez was found at the Greenwell.
As Bott took the suspect into custody, he found drug paraphernalia on his person. As the officers continued to search the room they found additional paraphernalia and drugs near the area where Javis had been standing.
Jaimez allegedly acknowledged responsibility for the discovered items which included paraphernalia and more than 10 grams of methamphetamine.
The hotel room was registered in Jarvis' name and the Greenwell is within what police consider a drug free zone.
Despite Jaimez's alleged declaration that the drugs were his, Jarvis was taken into custody and booked into the Carbon County Jail for crimes that include; Possession of Methamphetamine, a second degree felony and Possession of Paraphernalia, a Class B misdemeanor.
Jaimez's was arrested for offenses including; Possession with Intent To Distribute Methamphetamine, a second degree felony and Possession of Paraphernalia, a class b misdemeanor. Jaimez also has prior drug related convictions and was being sought for additional crimes by the Helper police. The Carbon County Attorney's Office will screen the bookings to determine the appropriate formal charges.
After being booked, Jaimez was interviewed by Price Police Detective Chris Pugliese in relation to the drug overdose of a Price man. The overdose death occurred on Dec. 23, 2013.
"Jaimez allegedly admitted he was the person who dealt the heroin that the man overdosed on," said the Price City press release.
Detective Pugliese then booked Jaimez separately for Distribution of a Controlled Substance (Heroin), a first degree felony and Manslaughter, a second degree felony.
"People have gotten so reckless and dangerous with the drugs they are selling in this community," said Price Police Capt. Bill Barnes. "With drugs like heroin, you are dealing with a dangerous substance and it's not like it's being made by Johnson and Johnson. The people dealing these drugs don't know how strong different portions of the same bag are."
According to Barnes, the department's recent decision to make arrests which include the seeking of charges like manslaughter and murder in connections with drug distribution is relatively new. He also said that the laws governing these types of arrests have always been on the books.
"It is not just the dealing of the drugs that cause us to make these arrest," he continued. "We look at many of the other circumstances related to the crime before we move forward."
Helper's Trent Anderson also spoke about police arresting those who deal the drugs which which kill people.
"Every situation is going to be different," said Anderson. "But if someone is suicidal and I hand them a gun, I am liable for their death. We feel that at certain times, it's the same thing with drugs."
Anderson said if a person deals a substance which they know to be lethal and other circumstances are present, then charges like manslaughter will be considered.