Former medical examiner’s employee charged with drug trafficking

Former medical examiner’s employee charged with drug trafficking

KINGMAN – A former employee of the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office was arraigned in Mohave Superior Court last week on charges of trafficking fentanyl and methamphetamine through the Yucca area.

Jennifer Springfield, 45, was arraigned alongside partner Billy Ray Johnson, 55, at an Oct. 20 hearing in Mohave County Superior Court. Springfield is now scheduled to appear in court at a hearing on Monday to discuss the possibility of reducing her $10,000 bond as she remains in custody at Mohave County Jail.

According to Deputy Mohave County Legal Defender Daniel Christian, Springfield was employed as an office manager at the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office for eight years until her arrest earlier this month. She is a mother of three, with connections to the Havasu community. Although she has prior criminal convictions, the most recent of those convictions took place 15 years ago. As such, Christian said in an Oct. 19 court filing that Springfield’s bond was excessive to ensure her appearance at a criminal trial.

Prosecutors argued against a reduction of Springfield’s bond, however, citing what they believe to be strong evidence in the case, and a list of prior felony charges against Springfield. Those charges include counts of conspiracy, controlling an illegal enterprise and use of electronic communications to commit a drug transaction in 2005; Failure to appear in a Phoenix court hearing in 2008; and criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct in 2008.

Johnson is also scheduled to appear in Mohave County Superior Court on Monday, for a pre-trial conference in his own case. Johnson remained in custody at Mohave County Jail as of Friday without bond, due to a felony warrant for his arrest at the time he was taken into custody.

The case began Oct. 6, after Lake Havasu City Police detectives allegedly learned that Springfield and Johnson may have been selling quantities of methamphetamine throughout Mohave County. Havasu investigators were assisted by the Arizona Department of Public Safety in locating and arresting Springfield and Johnson during a traffic stop in Yucca.

During the stop, a K9 allegedly alerted police to illegal drugs in the couple’s vehicle. Police said a search yielded more than 200 grams of methamphDeputy Mohave County Attorney Phillip Delgado said Springfield denied ownership of the fentanyl pills. He said Springfield admitted that Johnson supplied her with methamphetamine, and that she had accompanied him to Phoenix to purchase the meth found in their vehicle.

Both are charged with possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of narcotics for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia. According to county officials on Monday, Springfield was not an employee of the county itself.



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