Judge gives youthful drug addict another chance at rehab

Contributed File Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Raymone Aragon, shown here after being booked into jail in January 2021, has been given another chance at rehabilitation during a recent petition to revoke his probation.

By Jon Johnson


SAFFORD – A man whose substance abuse issues led to a flight from law enforcement in a stolen truck received another chance at rehabilitation after having a petition to revoke his probation.  

During the law and motion proceedings Tuesday, Graham County Superior Court Judge Pro Tem Travis W. Ragland saw a myriad of defendants who had petitions to revoke their probations due to illicit drug use.

Raymone Damien Aragon, 22, was one of the many on the calendar. After going through a rough 2020 and 2021, Aragon’s docket was clean in 2022. Then, in March, he appeared on another petition to revoke his probation due to illicit drug use. 

In court on Tuesday, Aragon faced sentencing on his probation violation. Aragon was on probation from a March 29, 2020 incident in which he stole a truck from a locked gate at Bowman Consulting in Safford and then fled from pursuing officers and burst through a closed fatality scene in Bylas, all while high on methamphetamine.

Prior to the truck theft incident, Aragon had been arrested on another warrant in February 2020 after being treated at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center for an apparent gunshot wound to his chest.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Raymone Damien Aragon was initially booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility in May 2020 after being released from a Scottsdale hospital following his crash during his flight from authorities.

Aragon was placed on probation for the March 2020 incident, but only months afterward had a petition to revoke his probation filed in September 2020 for failing to adhere to its stipulations and failure to complete drug rehabilitation courses. A second petition to revoke was filed on Dec. 30, 2020. 

As for the latest petition, Graham County Probation made a recommendation to the court for reinstatement on probation along with 30 days in jail.   

Prior to sentencing, Aragon addressed the court and asked to be given a chance to succeed in a rehabilitation program. He spoke of his years of drug abuse since he was barely a teenager and said he now has the tools to succeed in being drug-free.  

“I’d like to address the court to apologize to the community, my P.O., and the Graham County justice system and my family for my behavior and for my actions,” Aragon said. “It might have seem like the rules didn’t apply to me. But that was because of my addiction. An addiction that turned into a disease.”

“This disease has killed me three times and has ruined relationships, jobs, opportunities, and more for me. I never understood the problem until I started my 12 steps.”

“I started programming Oct. 10 the day I stepped foot out of prison and ever since that day I’ve been at war with my addiction. But knowing now what my addiction can do I know better than to turn back now. I know I need help your honor and I’m willing to better myself because jail and prison don’t help anybody. It makes people worse.”

“I’ve been an addict since I was 13 years old and I’ve been in treatment a couple times for 30 days. But by the time I sat down and almost got comfortable with the program it was time to leave. I know everything sounds repetitive your honor, that’s my addiction speaking for itself.”

“All in all your honor, I went down this road one day with a group of friends and I got left there with someone called addiction and ever since then I’ve been stuck on this road with that person and I don’t know how to back. I’ll forever be at war with my addiction, but I’m willing to program as soon as possible and better my mental health and physical health so I can be a better son, be a father, a better brother, and a better grandson.”(Sic) 

Judge Ragland then ordered Aragon reinstated to probation with a 23-day extension and 30 days in jail with credit for 22 days served. Ragland also ordered Aragon to be placed on intensive supervised probation and comply with a GPS monitor as well as successfully complete a rehabilitation program at the discretion of probation. 

“You are being given this opportunity,” Judge Ragland said. “Opportunities and chances are not unlimited, so you need to make sure that you make the most of it and take it seriously . . . If you don’t take it seriously, then you’re just going to end up right back in here and then you’re going to be looking at DOC or some other consequence, so make sure you take it seriously – make sure you do what you need to do. You don’t have to like it, but you do need to get it done . . . They (probation) have faith that you can get this done. I have faith you can get it done. Thing is, you have to have faith in yourself and you have to put the work in.”(Sic)