Franklin Countys First News

Winthrop man pleads guilty, sentenced to drug charges

Alexander Meader (Photo courtesy of Franklin County Detention Center)

FARMINGTON - A Winthrop man was sentenced to a partially-suspended, 5-year prison sentence yesterday, after pleading guilty to felony drug charges tied to the investigation into the death of a local woman last year via overdose.

Alexander Meader, 28 of Winthrop, pleaded guilty Monday in Franklin County court to unlawful furnishing of scheduled drugs and criminal conspiracy to traffic in scheduled drugs, both Class C felonies. Meader also agreed to forfeit more than $750 in cash discovered on his person at the time of his arrest, as part of a criminal forfeiture proceeding.

According to an arrest affidavit previously filed by Farmington Police Department Sgt. Edward Hastings IV, he and other first responders arrived at a Fairbanks Road apartment on the morning of March 2, 2019, after receiving a report of an unresponsive woman. The woman was discovered on the second floor of her apartment and could not be revived by first responders.

The medical examiner later concluded that she died of acute intoxication due to the combined effects of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, venlafaxine and trazadone. The latter two drugs were the woman's prescription medications.

A man at the apartment told investigators that he and the woman had traveled to Winthrop on March 1 to purchase 2 grams of crack from Meader for $240. Meader then traveled with them back to Farmington, eventually leaving the residence around 8 p.m. The man at the apartment told police that he then returned to the Fairbanks Road address and stayed their with the woman, smoking crack and marijuana until approximately 4 a.m. the next morning.

Police believe that Meader sold heroin and crack cocaine out of the Fairbanks Road apartment in the past.

According to the affidavit, the man in the apartment retrieved crack pipes, push rods for the pipes and a small plastic container from his truck and gave it to police. In the container was crack cocaine and eight packets of heroin. From within the apartment, police reportedly found empty packets that appeared to have contained heroin, used crack pipes, a baggie of what appeared to be crack cocaine and used needles. They also took cellphones, reportedly finding a text message on the deceased woman's phone dated Feb. 28 that had been sent to Meader inquiring about purchasing a "ticket for the come down," a phrase that Hastings associated with a .1 gram packet of heroin.

Police traveled to Winthrop and located Meader in the passenger seat of a vehicle as it backed out of his driveway. According to the affidavit, Meader was "very fidgety and furtive" and attempted to pull baggies of heroin and what appeared to be a crack pipe out of his pocket. Police searched Meader and allegedly found several empty baggies of heroin as well as $759 in cash. They reportedly found another baggie, more drug paraphernalia and three bundles of 10 packs of heroin - weighing approximately 3.6 grams - in the vehicle. The heroin packets recovered from the Fairbanks Road apartment matched those that Meader was trying to sell, Hastings said.

According to the affidavit, Meader admitted to bringing and using heroin to the Fairbanks Road apartment, but denied supplying to drug to the woman, as she was a former addict.

As part of the arranged plea to the two felonies, charges of trafficking and furnishing were dismissed. Meader received a 5-year sentence with all but 18 months suspended on the furnishing charge and a concurrent 18-month sentence on the conspiracy charge. Meader will be on probation for 2 years following his release, with conditions of his probation to include no contact with other people associated with the case as well as no use or possession of illegal drugs with random search and test for same. He will also be required to pay $960 in restitution to the Farmington police.

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