Dec. 2-A Lafayette man reportedly found with more than 200 counterfeit opioid pills laced with fentanyl during a domestic violence arrest was sentenced to community corrections.
Jessie James Raymond Verner, 36, pleaded guilty in September to possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, stalking, domestic violence habitual offender, harassment and criminal mischief.
On Friday, Boulder District Court Judge Patrick Butler sentenced Verner to a total of 11 years in community corrections, essentially a halfway house.
Butler said if Verner continued to use substances, he risked becoming "another statistic."
"There are only two ways that story ends: in prison or in a ditch," Butler said.
While prosecutors asked for a prison sentence, Butler said he felt Verner would have better access to treatment options in community corrections.
"As much as we try as a community, we don't have as many resources in (the Department of Corrections) as we would like," Butler said.
Verner said that he was ready to begin treating his substance abuse issues.
"I cant do this anymore," Verner said. "This is my last chance. I will run with it, I will do my best. I cant use anymore... I just can't do it anymore. I can't do it to my community and my family."
According to an affidavit, police were called to a residence in Lafayette for a domestic violence report on two separate occasions in January and identified Verner as the suspect.
Police also noted Verner had open warrants, and went to find Verner on Jan. 27 at his listed address at an auto shop in Lafayette.
When police arrived, Verner refused to leave an enclosed room and comply with police. Police deployed pepper balls into the room, and Verner eventually surrendered to officers.
Police found Verner with a bag containing 284 blue pills divided into smaller bags. Officers noted the pills were labeled M30 and M50, which would identify them as oxycodone, but they appeared to be counterfeit.
Testing later confirmed the presence of fentanyl in the pills.
Boulder Deputy District Attorney Kelsey Waldorf in asking for a prison sentence noted Verner now has seven felony convictions on his record.
"He picks up new criminal cases every few years, if not every year," Waldorf said. "He has been provided numerous opportunities on probation and numerous opportunities to accept treatment."
But Verner said this time would be different, and noted he has become an intake trustee in his time at the Boulder County Jail.
"What is different this time? I've witnessed with a sober mind the effects of dangerous drugs," Verner said. "It struck my heart in a different way."
Butler said ultimately, "Actions speak louder than words."
"It's up to you do decide how you're going to move forward," Butler said. "The folks from community corrections believe you can be a safe member of the community or safely supervised in the community.
"If you mess that up, (prison) really has to be the only option left."