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6 fentanyl cases concluded, 10 ongoing
2018 fentanyl arrest cases that have been adjudicated

Out of the 16 individuals who were either caught in possession of fentanyl, or are believed to have been selling the deadly narcotic last year, six have received at least a partial sentence for their charges. The other 10 are still going through court proceedings. (Courier file photos, names listed below)

Out of the 16 individuals who were either caught in possession of fentanyl, or are believed to have been selling the deadly narcotic last year, six have received at least a partial sentence for their charges. The other 10 are still going through court proceedings. (Courier file photos, names listed below)

Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT) arrested 16 individuals in 2018 who were either caught in possession of fentanyl, or are believed to have been selling the deadly narcotic.

Of those, six have received at least a partial sentence for their charges. The other 10 are still going through court proceedings – which the Courier will continue to report on.

Based on court records, the following are the results of the six cases that have been concluded.

ADDICT GETS FINAL CHANCE

Willow Walters, 25, was arrested by PANT on Feb. 13, 2018. She had been caught dealing methamphetamine and fentanyl-laced heroin from her home in Sedona.

Eight charges were levied against her, all drug related.

She had prior convictions already on her record, including misdemeanors for drug paraphernalia, failure to appear, assault and shoplifting, as well as felonies for soliciting a narcotic drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.

However, the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office was swayed to give Walters one final chance to pull her act together through a plea agreement.

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Willow Kylee Walters

“Ms. Walter’s attorney did a nice job of presenting our office with information attesting to Ms. Walter’s impressive early commitment and determination to get help for her drug issues,” Yavapai County prosecutor Ethan Wolfinger wrote in the presentence report. “Frankly, this prosecutor was impressed by the defendant’s transformation during the pendency of this case. The plea reflects the State’s desire to not only reward the defendant for her efforts at recovery but to assure that no additional chances will be given for relapses or second chances as it relates to her continued use of opioids.”

Walters pled guilty to three of the charges, but the sentence was suspended and she was placed on supervised probation for four years. She had to spend 60 days in jail and pay over $3,000 in fines.

The Yavapai County Superior judge overseeing the case was Michael Bluff.

DEALER PUT AWAY FOR YEARS

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Crystal Desiree McCullough

Crystal McCullough, 36, didn’t received the sort of leniency granted to Walters.

In McCullough’s case, she was arrested by PANT in July and faced five charges related to the possession, sale and transportation of methamphetamine and marijuana.

Detectives also located 2.68 grams of white powder in her possession that tested positive for fentanyl, according to PANT.

She had one prior felony conviction dating back to 2007 that she served two years in prison for and one prior misdemeanor in 2001 for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Having accepted the plea agreement, McCullough was sentenced to serve 7.5 years flat time in prison. She was also fined about $2,000.

The Yavapai County Superior judge overseeing the case was Michael Bluff.

RECKLESS USER FACES PENALTY

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Jeffrey Darrell Howard

Jeffrey Howard, 36, was first arrested in Cottonwood in 2018 for aggravated driving under the influence, running from police, endangering the public with reckless driving and illegally possessing prescription medications.

He then failed to appear to a court hearing and a warrant was issued for his arrest. When arrested the second time in July 2018, he was found with 80 pills containing fentanyl.

In his presentence report, it indicated that not only did a risk assessment find there was a high risk of him reoffending, but he also was unwilling to take full responsibility for his actions.

“So to date, the defendant has shown little if any remorse or willingness to change,” Yavapai County prosecutor Ethan Wolfinger wrote. “His driving behavior could have easily resulted in someone’s death, and the defendant obviously showed little regard for authority or anyone but himself when he attempted to elude law enforcement and run away.”

Howard pled guilty and was sentenced to serve 6.25 years in prison, 1.5 of which were for the possession of fentanyl. He was also fined more than $8,000.

The Yavapai County Superior judge overseeing the case was Michael Bluff.

DEALER GETS PROBATION

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Clayton Zachary Yost

Clayton Yost, 21, was arrested in Prescott Valley on Oct. 4 after a vehicle pursuit.

During the chase, he threw a backpack from his car that police managed to recover. It contained more than 100 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, more than 100 grams of marijuana, 28 grams of cocaine, 73 Xanax pills and 228 blue pills containing fentanyl, according to police records.

Though Yost initially faced 12 charges, he only ended up pleading guilty to two of them: Possession of narcotic drugs for sale (cocaine), and unlawful flight from law enforcement vehicle.

As a result, his sentence was suspended and he was placed on standard supervised probation for 4 years. The sentence also required he spend 180 days in the Yavapai County jail and pay a fine of $2,000 plus an 83 percent surcharge.

The Yavapai County Superior judge overseeing the case was Christopher Kottke.

SUSPECTED DEALER GETS PROBATION

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Spencer Joseph Pool

Spencer Pool, 29, from Prescott was arrested in Dewey after PANT detectives developed information that he was bragging about the sales of fentanyl-laced pills.

His vehicle was pulled over on Oct. 26 and a search revealed five fentanyl-laced pills and a burnt sixth pill in his possession, according to police records. He later admitted to smoking the pill while driving.

Since the quantity of pills found wasn’t enough to pin him for drug dealing, he faced charges of drug use and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He quickly accepted the plea agreement, which allowed his sentence to be suspended in place of three years of supervised probation. The agreement also allowed one of the charges to be deferred until completion of the county’s drug offender treatment program.

The Yavapai County Superior judge overseeing the case was Jeffrey Paupore.

ANOTHER SUSPECTED DEALER GETS PROBATION

Christopher Robertson, 35, was one of the last people to be arrested by PANT in 2018 on fentanyl-related charges.

Detectives had received information that Robertson was possibly involved in the transportation and sale of meth and fentanyl in the Prescott area.

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Christopher Warren Robertson

When his vehicle was pulled over in Dewey on Dec. 3 for a traffic violation, a K9 was deployed and alerted to drugs in the car. A search turned up four fentanyl pills. He was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, misconduct involving weapons and possession or use of narcotic drugs.

He also took the plea agreement, which allowed his sentence to be suspended in place of three years of supervised probation. The charges of misconduct involving weapons and possession or use of narcotic drugs have been deferred until he completes the county’s drug offender treatment program.

The Yavapai County Superior judge overseeing the case was Jeffrey Paupore.

#StopFentanylNow

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