Daytona Beach, FL – For the first time ever in Volusia County, the person suspected of selling someone the drugs which prosecutors believe killed them is now facing a first-degree murder charge.
A grand jury handed down the indictment earlier today against 31-year-old Steven Montilla (above) of Sanford in the October 2017 overdose death of 34-year-old Jacqueline N. Griggs (below with daughter) , prompting Sheriff Mike Chitwood to hold a press conference at the Deputy Steven Saboda Training Center to say he plans to do exactly this in the future for any future suspects who deal fatal doses.
“In every case we can, we’re going to go after these scumbags who are slinging poison on our streets,” Chitwood said during the press conference. “We’re going to put them behind bars where they belong, where they can’t end the life of another person addicted to their deadly product.”
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office says Montilla sold heroin to Griggs – who was the mother of a 3-year-old girl – soon before Griggs’ mother found her unconscious in a bathroom of the home they shared at Parkview Court in Deltona. First responders were not able to revive her despite administering Narcan.
According to Montilla’s arrest report, detectives found his cell number in Griggs’ phone and a text conversation between them which suggested he had been the man to sell her the heroin found next to her body when she died.
It was soon after that when a VCSO detective texted Montilla back pretending to be Griggs, arranging a heroin buy two days later at the parking lot of the Publix on Courtland Boulevard in Deltona.
VCSO took Montilla into custody for drug trafficking soon after he drove into the parking lot and that’s when detectives found more drugs in his gray Nissan Altima, along with $375 in cash and the cell phone he used to text Griggs with, per the report.
Montilla has been arrested in the past for dealing drugs and was recently sentenced to over three years’ in prison for several crimes, including heroin trafficking.
Chitwood admitted during the press conference that getting Montilla convicted on first-degree murder wouldn’t be easy but it’s a chance he’s willing to take.
“At least we know her death wasn’t in vain,” Chitwood noted. “We stopped him, and maybe we stopped 15 or 20 other overdoses from the stuff he was going to sell. We’ll never know that, but we believe in our hearts that we did.”
Detectives also noted during the press conference that the father of Griggs’ child died of a drug overdose a few years ago.