SALT LAKE CITY – A federal complaint unsealed recently charges Andrew T. Whitehouse, age 25, of Tooele with distribution of heroin in a case where a Tooele resident, identified as J.B. in the complaint, died from a drug overdose.
According to the complaint, on Oct. 7, 2018, officers from the Tooele City Police Department responded to a residence on a call for a male who was unconscious and not breathing. The father of the victim believed he had overdosed on drugs. Officers and emergency technicians were not able to revive him.
Officers recovered a used syringe in the bathroom sink with what appeared to be heroin residue. They also found a needle mark on J.B.’s wrist. A small baggie, commonly used to store user amounts of heroin, and a digital scale were found. They also found the victim’s cell phone.
A medical examiner later determined the victim died of “mixed drug and alcohol intoxication.” The drugs included heroin metabolites (morphine and 6-monoacetylmorphine) and a by-product of heroin production (codeine).
The phone contained a text message conversation between the victim and a person identified as “Andrew” that started in the early hours of Oct. 7, 2018, with the victim asking Andrew for narcotics at 2:33 a.m. The conversation continued – with 34 messages between the victim and Whitehouse’s phone until about 4:30 a.m. There were also 11 calls back and forth.
The victim’s body was discovered about 7:15 a.m.
According to the complaint, Whitehouse told investigators when he arrived at the victim’s home, the victim only had $13. Whitehouse claimed the victim went back inside his home to find more money. While the victim was in the home, Whitehouse said he divided the heroin into a smaller amount to sell the victim $13 worth of heroin. Whitehouse claims that when victim returned without any more money, he decided to leave without selling the heroin, according to the complaint. Whitehouse claimed that at about 4:30 a.m., he told the victim to buy heroin from someone else. The victim’s phone, however, indicates he had no further contact with anyone that morning.
Whitehouse is also charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography in the complaint.
In June 2019, a victim disclosed to law enforcement that she had received communications from a stranger who sent her a photo of herself naked from the waist up, identified her last name, and other personal information. The individual stated that he obtained the photograph from a website. According to the complaint, the picture of the victim was posted to the website in April 2019 with the caption, “more pictures where that came from.”
The victim recognized the photo as one of several photographs taken of her engaged in sexual activity that she had sent to Whitehouse during 2012 when she was 15 years old. According to the complaint, the victim said Whitehouse knew her age at the time and asked her to pose in sexually explicit positions. The victim said she sent Whitehouse more than 50 pictures.
According to the complaint, in July 2019, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Whitehouse’s residence. A forensic review of the digital media seized from the house uncovered the photograph that the victim had been sent by the stranger. Investigators also found other photos of the 15-year-old victim.
The maximum potential sentence for distribution of heroin is 20 years in prison. If the defendant is convicted of that charge, federal prosecutors could seek an enhancement at sentencing for the victim’s death. Distribution of child pornography has a potential maximum sentence of 20 years in prison with a five-year minimum mandatory sentence. Possession of child pornography is up to 10 years. Whitehouse is in custody.
A complaint is not a finding of guilt. Defendants charged in a complaint are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.
Prosecutors in the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office are prosecuting the case. Special agents and task force officers with the DEA are investigating the case, with assistance from the Tooele City Police Department.