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Man charged in connection to woman’s overdose death

Crime Watch

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Jacob Christopher Perez | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — Prosecutors have charged a man after a months-long investigation into a woman’s fatal overdose in July.

On July 1, the Idaho Falls Police Department found Jesica Foster, 33, dead in her bed with a small amount of heroin and drug paraphernalia. Investigators say Jacob Christopher Perez, 26, arranged the sale of the drugs that Foster died from.

This month, he was arrested and charged with felony delivery of a controlled substance with an infliction of great bodily injury enhancement.

When police found Foster, they also found an ATM receipt for $140 withdrawn from an Idaho Falls bank around 5 p.m. the day before, according to an affidavit of probable cause. In September, police also received a report of a download of Foster’s phone that showed a conversation with Perez arranging to meet with his source to buy heroin.

The phone was with Foster when she went to the ATM, then to Walgreens to buy syringes and then at the Maverik on Woodruff Avenue to reportedly buy the drugs. Investigators wrote in the probable cause that Perez was with Foster while at the Maverick store.

“Was that any good? I thought so,” the last message on Foster’s phone from Perez.

Police arrested Perez on three other warrants on Sept. 17, the same day the phone report returned. Perez said he and Foster used drugs together but could not specifically remember the events of June 30. He told police someone else drove them and he could not remember who he bought the heroin from.

The day after police spoke with Perez, Bonneville County Coroner Rick Taylor gave detectives a death certificate that listed heroin toxicity as leading to Foster’s death. Police then submitted a report to prosecutors, asking them to charge Perez.

Jesica Foster

Jesica Foster | Obituary photo

Court records indicate that on Dec. 3, Bonneville County prosecutors charged Perez, and he was arrested on Dec. 8. He was booked into the Bonneville County Jail, where he remains held on $25,000 bail.

It is not the first time prosecutors have charged someone in connection to the fatal overdose of someone they said helped buy drugs. In February, a judge placed another man on a rider program after he arraigned the sale of heroin that killed his friend in February 2019. Another man was also sent to prison in February for the same charge after his fiancé died from a heroin overdose in February 2019.

A preliminary hearing for Perez is scheduled for Dec. 22.

Although Perez is charged with a crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, Perez could be ordered to spend up to life in prison with an additional 20 years for the infliction of bodily injury sentence extension.