Friend responsible for overdose death of SLC man

SALT LAKE CITY – After a Salt Lake area man dies using methamphetamine he bought from a friend, federal prosecutors and DEA officers issue a warning: if you sell narcotics that result in overdose death, you are having a hard time.

Both men were in various stages of drug recovery, but neither, apparently, could resist the allure of methamphetamine.

This happened during Christmas week 2018, when the victim, who had been sober for many months, began texting his friend, Jason Estes, asking if he could hook him up with methamphetamine.

Estes, who lives in Davis County, agreed to buy the drug and went to Sandy, where he sold it to the victim in the parking lot of a convenience store.

The victim returned home, took methamphetamine, and died shortly thereafter. He was found by his wife.

Detectives then recovered the entire text message chain, arrested Mr Estes and ultimately took the case to federal court where Estes was convicted and sentenced to jail.

Officers said it was a warning to users and sellers of illegal drugs.

“And we need to send a message to these people who distribute drugs to communities that this is a serious crime,” said Michael Tinkler of the DEA in Utah. “You have to think twice before you take something from a friend, from a friend of yours and the potential downfall. Of course, in this one the real tragedy is to leave a child, to leave a family, to leave a spouse behind. This is probably one of the biggest tragedies in this affair. “

The DEA, along with federal prosecutors, also wants to inform local police departments: If you have a fatal overdose and think you can tie it to the drug dealer, take it to him.

Had this case been prosecuted at the state level, the most serious charge possible would likely have been negligent homicide or manslaughter and a questionable prison sentence.

Jason Estes was sentenced to 26 months in federal prison. He will start serving his sentence in November.

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