Medical marijuana patient caught with meth

Contributed Photo/Courtesy SPD: A Thatcher medical marijuana patient was arrested after being found in possession of methamphetamine, like this example from a different police bust.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Jeffrey Dane Householder, 32, of Thatcher, had a valid medical marijuana card which allowed him to have the cannabis found in his car, however, there is no such thing as a medical meth card.

Householder was pulled over by a Safford officer at about 3:41 a.m. on Thursday, April 19, after the officer noticed Householder’s white, Chrysler 300 parked with a passenger near a residence on 12th Avenue known for drug activity.

The officer followed the vehicle as it left and activated his emergency lights after seeing the car’s registration was expired. Householder continued on Apricot Loop for another block and then turned westbound on 32nd Street before yielding for the officer.

While the officer explained the reason for the stop, he reported he could smell weed in the vehicle. Householder then supplied him with a medical marijuana card that was set to expire the next day on April 20. Householder also advised the officer that he had a .40 pistol and ammunition in the car’s center console.

During his interaction with the officer, Householder informed him that he worked for a former member of law enforcement who currently runs a local business. The officer believed Householder informed him of this as a ploy to imply that he wasn’t a criminal.

The officer felt Householder appeared more nervous than he should be in the situation and eventually located a black eyeglass case that was in Householder’s pocket. Seeing that Householder wasn’t wearing glasses, the officer took a closer look at the case and noticed what appeared to be a glass pipe extending from the case.

At that time, the officer went to retrieve the case and arrest Householder, who then asked if he could call his boss.

Householder was then arrested and taken into custody, and the officer located two baggies of less than a half gram of methamphetamine each in the case along with a glass pipe with apparent methamphetamine residue. The officer checked the rest of the car and located a glass jar with medical marijuana that was under the allowable limit of 2.5 ounces.

Another officer retrieved the pistol from the center console and saw that it had a loaded magazine.

Householder allegedly admitted to using meth earlier that day and that he has been using the drug for “too long” and would like to seek treatment for his addiction.

The officer asked Householder if he had ever been in trouble before, and Householder allegedly told him he had not. However, court records show Householder pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia in Scottsdale City Court in December 2016. He completed a diversion program for that offense and it was eventually dismissed in June 2017. 

The officer, believing Householder had never been in trouble before, informed the suspect that he would send his report to the Graham County Attorney’s Office for review for possible charges, including possession of a dangerous drug (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia, and misconduct involving weapons for having a gun during the commission of a felony drug offense.

Householder was then released and his passenger was allowed to drive the vehicle from the scene. According to information gathered by the Gila Herald, Householder was later terminated from his employment.