While conducting a routine patrol on Christmas around 9:50 p.m., a JCSO White City Community Action Team (CAT) deputy observed a suspicious vehicle parked at a business in the 13000 block of Antioch Road.
The car arouse suspicion by being parked diagonally across multiple parking spaces with the engine running in front of the closed business. The White City deputy approached the vehicle and observed a man asleep at the wheel. The deputy announced himself as being from the Sheriff’s Office and the driver did not wake up. The deputy observed what appeared to be a felony amount of narcotics, in plain sight on the suspects lap and called for backup.
Due to the suspects potential for being under the influence and his flight risk by being in possession of a felony amount of narcotics, the deputy placed a spike strip in front of his tire and waited for backup. Additional deputies arrived minutes later, woke him up, and took him into custody without incident.
At the scene, deputies seized 88 grams of multi-colored powdered fentanyl in multiple baggies, along with $1027 cash. A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle which uncovered five additional grams of fentanyl and a digital scale. The suspect did not require medical attention.
The suspect, Tomas William Contento, 42, of Medford, was arrested Sunday night and charged with felony counts of unlawful possession, delivery, and manufacture of a controlled substance. He was lodged in the Jackson County Jail and has since bailed out.
Jackson County Animal Control took possession of Contento’s dogs. The case is under further investigation and will be prosecuted by the Jackson County District Attorney’s office.
As fentanyl overdose deaths continue to climb across Jackson County, authorities say this arrest and seizure has potentially saved lives. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance, and past usage.
All suspects are considered innocent until any/all charges are proven true against them in a court of law.