SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – A suspected drug dealer who police think is connected to the recent heroin overdose crisis in Lane County was released from jail Monday, and his former neighbors had mixed reactions.
Jaycee Johnson was arrested on Friday in an apartment building on 17th street in Springfield.
A KEZI 9 News crew spotted who they believed to be Johnson outside of the apartment building Wednesday evening. Neighbors confirmed it was him.
A reporter went to the door to speak with him and he did not come to the door.
Some of his former neighbors described him as a good guy. Others said he’s always been bad news.
Springfield police believe Johnson is connected to more than 30 heroin overdoses in Lane County in less than two weeks involving the drug that could be tainted with fentanyl.
Cathy Murray, Johnson’s former neighbor, said she’s not surprised.
"I knew he was into a lot of illegal stuff and we just didn't do any dealings with him whatsoever,” Murray said. “He was trouble and everything.”
“He was a good person,” said Davida Olsen, another former neighbor. “He was a good dad. He was with his daughter. I mean, people do their drugs, they have their addictions and stuff but still through all that, he still was being a good dad. So, this was just like a shocker."
Investigators served a search warrant on his home on Friday. Officials said they found "china white," a fentanyl-based drug believed to be involved in some of the overdoses.
Murray's son Jimmie said he used to do drugs with Johnson. She said she tried to keep Jimmie away from him after she said Jonson gave her son crystal meth mixed with heroin and rat poison.
“I thought I was going to lose my son. They wanted us to pull the plug and I said no my son is going to come out of this," she said. “You're going to do the crime, do the time,” Murray said.
Those neighbors said they haven't seen or heard from Johnson since he moved out of their neighborhood about two years ago.
Prosecutors said it's too early to press charges because they're awaiting results from the crime lab.