OVERGAARD — A suspect arrested for possessing and transporting dangerous drugs died in the custody of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 16, according to a press release dated Dec. 17 from Lt. Alden Whipple of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office. The deceased man has been identified as Lonny Dehut, 53, of Overgaard.

The NCSO says that around 11 a.m. on that Thursday morning, a deputy stopped a vehicle in which the driver was the sole occupant.

The deputy “saw indicators to investigate the driver for potential drug trafficking,” stated the release, and Dehut was subsequently arrested. He was taken to a sheriff’s substation nearby, presumably the one in Heber. Dehut is described as being fully cooperative and willing to provide a statement. There was no force used by any of the deputies involved, stated Whipple.

However, during the interview, Dehut began to act strangely and the interrogators asked him about that and offered medical assistance. Medics reportedly arrived there within five minutes of being called and as a matter of routine, checked the man’s vital signs and symptoms.

Apparently, Dehut’s condition rapidly deteriorated from there and medics began life-saving efforts. They administered “multiple rounds” of Narcan, a drug which quickly counteracts the affects of an overdose. All to no avail and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation into the death is being conducted by the Navajo County Medical Examiner and the county’s criminal investigations unit.

This incident is the latest in a series of reports alleging criminal activity in Overgaard. On Dec. 8, authorities went to the residence of Ryan Michael Brown, 40, to serve a felony warrant. It was reported that at first, Brown tried to hide from deputies, then cooperated, but then started acting out in a way that deputies had to tase him. He was allegedly found to have three ounces of what is believed to be meth in his possession.

Last month on Nov. 22, deputies arrested Stephen Washburn, 31, of Heber on suspicion of committing aggravated assault. Washburn allegedly entered a private residence with a knife and ended up getting shot by the proper occupant of the residence. He reportedly then went to a business, agitated the employees there and was seen trying to break into cars. There are no drugs mentioned in Washburn’s case as of now.

Both Washburn and Brown are in custody awaiting trial and are presumed by law to be innocent. Regarding the passing of Mr. Dehut, this report will be updated as details become available.

Reach the reporter at rlynch@wmicentral.com

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