Photo: Provided by Santa Barbara Police Department
Written By: Robert L. McCullough
The scourge of fatalities connected to the tsunami of fentanyl flooding the nation appears to continue unabated.
Evidence of that surfaced once again on April 29, 2022 when Santa Barbara Police Department officers were called to the scene of an apparent drug overdose and found 30-year-old Santa Barbara resident Matthew Justin Dyet dead. According to SBPD spokesman Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale, Dyet “was discovered with narcotics and drug paraphernalia in his possession” and the cause of death was ultimately determined to have been “acute fentanyl intoxication.”
At that point, an investigation into the source of the fentanyl began. Four months later, detectives identified 34-year-old Santa Barbara resident Dillon James Joseph Johnson as the individual who provided Dyet with his lethal dose. On September 1 st , detectives served a search warrant on Johnson’s residence and “discovered fentanyl and other narcotics that constituted possession with the intent to distribute.”
Johnson was taken into custody and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on multiple narcotics charges with enhancements causing great bodily injury. Those charges became even more substantial on September 6 th , when Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley indicted Johnson for murder under “the Watson murder rule, providing for a charge of homicide under the theory that “Johnson knew—or should have known—that providing a dangerous drug such as fentanyl to someone could cause serious injury or death.”
Johnson remains in custody on a no-bail hold.