A Virginia man reportedly ate the methamphetamine he had purchased so he could avoid getting arrested and then died hours later. The 37-year-old Elvis Aron Harris, of New River Valley, was stopped by cops on June 20 on a suspicion that he and another man, Douglas Wayne Pearman, had purchased drugs at a Christiansburg house that they believed was a front for meth sales, according to the Roanoke Times.
The stop came after Sgt. Ronnie Alley of the Montogomery County Sheriff's Office was watching the house in the 100 block of Haymaker Street and, at around 8.36 pm, saw Harris and Pearman enter the house. The pair left three minutes later, with Christiansburg Police officer Victor Campos pulling over their maroon truck in the parking lot of a Red Robin restaurant near Peppers Ferry Road a short while after.
Both Harris and Pearman reportedly consented to a search, following which Alley and Campos found two plastic baggies with suspected crystal meth residue, a glass smoking device, and a set of digital scales. When confronted, each denied being at the Haymaker Street home, before then pointing the finger at each other and claiming that the other had bought meth during their stop.
Search warrants filed in connection to the incident stated that Harris was released after he told officers that Pearman had eaten the meth they had purchased at the house and the latter was arrested based on the residue in the passenger seat.
But when he got back to his home in Radford, he told his girlfriend that it was, in fact, he who had eaten the evidence. At 3 am the next morning, June 21, Harris started having trouble breathing, began hallucinating and having seizures, according to his girlfriend. At around 3.44 am, he stopped breathing, she said.
Emergency workers who arrived at the scene rushed Harris to Carilion New River Valley Medical Center, where he was declared dead. Three people were reportedly charged with the drug sales that preceded the 37-year-old's overdose death, with Pearman accused of possessing a controlled substance.
The occupants of the Christiansburg house, Crystal Dawn Stigger and Jason Patrick Stump, have been charged as well after a search of the residence resulted in officers finding bags of suspected crystal meth and suspected marijuana, scales and drug paraphernalia, Suboxone strips, phones, electronic devices and more.
Stigger has been charged with manufacturing a controlled substance while Stump has been charged with manufacturing a controlled substance and distributing marijuana.
Mark Anderson, an attorney who was representing Harris on a drug possession charge from last summer, said he only learned of his client's death after he did not arrive for a court hearing where prosecutors asked a judge to drop his earlier charges. "It's a shame," Anderson said. "He had a problem."