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Monday, February 26, 2024
Feb. 26, 2024

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Vancouver man accused in fatal fentanyl overdose

By , Columbian staff reporter

A Vancouver man is accused of selling fentanyl pills that caused another man to suffer a fatal overdose in October 2022.

Jacob A. Weese, 32, appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of controlled substance homicide and possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver. Judge Jennifer Snider set his bail at $150,000, and he is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 6.

Defense attorney Megan Peyton said Weese was seeking substance abuse treatment when he was arrested on these charges. Snider said Weese’s lengthy criminal history, including 53 prior warrants, showed to her that he struggled with substance abuse. The judge said she was concerned about community safety based on the allegations of Weese dealing fentanyl.

On Oct. 13, 2022, emergency responders arrived at a house in the 200 block of East 29th Street in Vancouver. A man said he found his roommate, identified as Christopher Bird, 30, dead in his bedroom, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Vancouver firefighters declared Bird dead, and Vancouver police noted signs of drug use in the bedroom, court records state.

The next week, officers searched Bird’s phone and laptop. They found Bird had been messaging Weese on Facebook about the sale of “blues,” which investigators said they know to be slang for counterfeit Oxycodone pills that contain fentanyl. Officers said the messages show Weese agreeing to sell the pills to Bird and giving Bird his address to come get them, according to the affidavit.

Police also said a search of Weese’s Facebook account shows he’d deleted the messages. They also searched Bird’s Uber account, which showed he got a ride to Weese’s house and back home on the night of Oct. 12, 2022. Bird’s phone data also showed he had not left his house after arriving home from Weese’s house, according to court records.

In April, detectives received a report from the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office, which stated Bird’s cause of death was fentanyl toxicity. A toxicology report from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab also confirmed Bird’s blood contained a fatal level of fentanyl, the affidavit states.

The crime lab also confirmed the pills responders found in Bird’s possession contained fentanyl, according to court records.