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Press Release

Complaint Filed Charging Utah County Man with Distribution of Heroin

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY – A complaint filed in federal court Thursday afternoon charges Edward Lee Poorman, age 22, of Vineyard, UT, with one count of distribution of heroin.  Poorman, who has been in state custody on unrelated charges, is scheduled for an initial appearance on the drug charge Monday at 10:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul M. Warner.  

According to an affidavit filed with the complaint and signed by a special agent with  Homeland Security Investigations, Provo City police officers responded to a Provo residence on July 6, 2016, following a call that a female at the residence  was not breathing.  Upon arrival, officers observed emergency medical personnel performing life saving techniques.  Despite these efforts the victim, referred to as BW in the complaint, was pronounced dead a short time later.

A neighbor told officers that she had been walking by when she observed the victim’s son outside.  She described him as looking lost and afraid.  She stopped to see if she could help.  He told her that his mother was in the house and he could not get her to wake up.  He wanted some help.  She immediately went to another neighbor’s home to seek help and was able to locate someone who knew BW and her family.  This neighbor ran into the home to try to render aid.  When she observed the BW’s condition, she called 911 and with the help of the 911 dispatcher, started CPR.  Provo City Fire and Rescue arrived a short time later and took over the life saving techniques.

The medical examiner’s report later revealed that BW died as a result of the combined effects of methamphetamine and heroin-derived morphine.  According to the complaint, toxicology results showed about twice as much morphine in BW’s system as meth.  Provo detectives conducted a search of the residence and found two used syringes and a small amount of as black tar substance that field-tested positive for heroin, in a small syringe cap above the medicine cabinet. Detectives also located as cell phone in BW’s bedroom.  They also observed that BW had a small puncture mark on her left hand consistent with recent narcotics injections.

According to the complaint, officers obtained a search warrant to search the cell phone and later obtained search warrants to search the Facebook accounts of BW and Poorman.  Agents discovered BW had used a Facebook messenger application and that it contained messages from a multiple-day conversation between Poorman and BW.  The conversations, recounted in the complaint filed in court, show the pair coordinating timing and directions to purchase drugs in the days leading up to BW’s death.

In an interview at the Utah County jail in February, Poorman admitted that he helped BW secure heroin on the evening of July 5, 2016, so that she would share some with him.  According to the complaint, after they had secured heroin from his source, he injected himself and then BW dropped him off at a convenience store.  Poorman claims this is the last time he saw BW.

The potential penalty for distribution of heroin is 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.

Complaints are not findings of guilt.  Individuals charged in a complaint are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.

Updated April 7, 2017

Drug Trafficking