Two men accused of injecting Farmington man with heroin and causing his death
FARMINGTON — Two men were charged last week in connection to injecting a 27-year-old Farmington resident with the heroin that led to his death.
Dusty Taylor, 28, and Allen Goossen, 29, were each charged Wednesday in Farmington Magistrate Court with trafficking a narcotic, both first offenses, and conspiracy to traffick a narcotic.
The offenses are second- and third-degree felonies, respectively, and the men would typically face up to 12 years in prison if convicted on both counts.
However, San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Brent Capshaw said the men could face significantly more time in prison because the heroin they are accused of distributing likely caused Bryan Sutton's death.
According to an arrest warrant, Sutton died the night of Nov. 30 at San Juan Regional Medical Center after hosting a party at his home on North Carlton Avenue in Farmington.
A medical examiner in Albuquerque determined Sutton's death was caused by both ethanol and heroin, which combined to fatally depress his heart and breathing rate, the warrant states.
Police learned in the days after Sutton's death that a partygoer had witnessed two men — Taylor and Goossen — inject Sutton with the heroin that killed him at the party, the warrant states.
The unidentified witness told detectives Sutton was "highly intoxicated" and had vomited blood before the heroin was injected.
"Oh, this is good," Sutton allegedly said before slumping into unconsciousness, according to the warrant.
The witness told detectives that Goossen and Taylor attempted to resuscitate Sutton and even injected him with Naloxone, a drug capable of reversing the effects of opioid intoxication.
However, the drug was ineffective, the warrant states.
Goossen was interviewed Feb. 26 and confessed to injecting Sutton with the heroin, according to the warrant.
Capshaw said his office had to be "creative" in charging Taylor and Goossen.
"We pondered this one for a while," he said. "They weren't intending to kill him. It's not like they pumped him full of drugs to kill him."
But a lack of intent does not mean the men are absolved in Sutton's death, Capshaw said.
Sutton's death is an aggravating factor, which increases the maximum sentence for drug trafficking from nine years to 15 years in prison. The maximum sentence for conspiracy to traffic is increased from three years to six years.
Taylor and Goossen have not yet been appointed public defenders, and neither man has yet retained private representation, according to court records. Court documents have an alternate spelling of Goossen's last name than found in other documents and references.