Investigators seize meth, heroin, but suspected dealer goes to hospital, not jail

The home of a Phoenix man suspected of dealing methamphetamine and heroin was raided by Medford drug and gang enforcement officers today, but he was taken to the hospital rather than jail, police said.

Stephen Gregory Johnson, 55, of the 4000 block of South Pacific Highway will be charged later with possessing, processing and distributing methamphetamine and heroin, said Medford Are Drug and Gang Enforcement Lt. Kevin Walruff.

Johnson, who has no criminal history in Jackson County, was standing in front of his home this afternoon when police showed up with a search warrant that yielded about four ounces of methamphetamine, seven ounces of heroin, about $12,000 in suspected drug money and packaging material and scales, according to a MADGE news release.

Walruff said he is not certain what health condition warranted Johnson receiving an ambulance ride to a hospital, but medics on scene informed police that the suspect was in serious need of medical treatment.

"I don't know if they are diabetic issues or what," Walruff said. "We wanted to make sure he got up to the hospital and got taken care of."

Walruff said police have been investigating Johnson for about two months and will continue in an attempt to find out whether he has past ties to drug trafficking.

"We had only been on to him for a couple months," Walruff said. "Sometimes we get those that come out of the blue and this was one of those."

He said Johnson will be formally charged at a later time and he is not considered a flight risk.

— Sam Wheeler

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