By Patrick Yost
A man arrested on several drug-related charges became unresponsive while being interviewed by Morgan County Sheriff’s Office employees and had to be hospitalized for four days.
According to Sgt. Chase Young, 41-year-old Rico Jermaine Cooper, collapsed last Friday, Jan. 8, around noon after authorities had both made a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Cooper and allegedly found narcotics and had executed a search warrant on Cooper’s Wildflower Way residence. After Cooper collapsed, Young said, his pulse remained strong but his breathing became erratic.
Officers monitored Cooper and called emergency medical technicians who gave Cooper a dose of Narcan. The opioid overdose reversal drug brought Cooper back, Young said. Cooper was then transported to the Morgan Medical Center where, Young said, he remained on a Narcan drip until Tuesday morning when he was transported back to the Morgan County Detention Center.
Authorities believe Cooper ingested some type of narcotic during his arrest.
Cooper was initially stopped in the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts Store parking lot at 8:40 a.m. for an alleged expired tag violation. Consequent to the stop, authorities searched his vehicle and allegedly found a set of digital scales with suspected narcotic residue and a plastic bag with suspected narcotic residue in the corner.
While Cooper was detained, Young said, authorities requested and received a search warrant for Cooper’s Wildflower Way residence based, in part, on the traffic stop and information gleaned from a two-month investigation on Cooper.
The search warrant produced 11.5 suspected Ecstasy pills and a small bag of suspected marijuana.
Cooper is charged with one count possession of Ecstasy, one count possession of marijuana, less than an ounce, one count crossing guard line with contraband, one count tampering with evidence and one count possession of drug related objects.